Pondering Problems with Computer Climate Models: A Note from Michael Hammer

SCIENTISTS have put a huge amount of effort into generating computer models of our climate system.  These models are very sophisticated and complex and their outputs suggest that increasing carbon dioxide will lead to significant temperature rises for our planet.  Indeed the model outputs now represent the main evidence in support of the anthropogenic (man induced) global warming hypothesis.   Why shouldn’t we take careful note of these results?

Computers are a tool allowing many calculations to be done extremely rapidly.  If we can describe a system we wish to explore via a set of interrelated equations we can then get a computer to repeatedly solve these equations with a small assumed time increment between each set of solutions and do it quickly. The output describes the future as predicted from the input equations.  This is a computer model.  It is important to remember that the model output is completely and exclusively determined by the information encapsulated in the input equations.  The computer contributes no checking, no additional information and no greater certainly in the output.  It only contributes computational speed.

In cases where the problem domain is comprehensively and accurately understood it is possible to construct a set of equations which very closely mirrors reality and in these cases model outputs can become quite reliable.  Finite element analysis and electronic simulation packages are good examples.  Even here though, a seemingly trivial error in input such as a single small missing factor can often completely invalidate the output and while the models are used extensively for optimisation the final optimised output is usually checked against reality before being accepted.

In cases where understanding of the problem is incomplete and uncertain, a large amount of information needs to be “estimated” or is simply omitted and this very rapidly causes model outputs to become extremely questionable.  Where models are used to explore a theory, very often the input data whether deliberately or not becomes heavily contaminated by the theory.  For example, the researcher is convinced something has a very strong effect so he makes the co-efficient for that parameter large or he is convinced another effect is negligible so he omits it completely.  Such a computer model is little more than the theory itself expressed in a different form. 

Evidence is independent information which can be used to support or destroy a theory.  The sort of model described above is not independent of the theory.  Thus to use the output from this sort of computer model to check a theory is akin to using the theory to prove itself, an invalid circular argument.  On the other hand, comparing the output of such a computer model with reality is equivalent to comparing theory predictions with reality and this can indeed be valid evidence.

It is crucial in evaluating climate models to determine the accuracy and comprehensiveness of the input data.  We can only include factors we know about and since we don’t anywhere near everything there is to know about climate there must be many omissions.  How extensive or significant these omissions are we have no way of knowing.  We also know there are things we do know about that are not included in the models.  For example Henrik Svensmark and Eigil Friis-Christenen from the Danish National Space Centre have carried out research which claims to show a link between rising solar magnetic activity and rising temperature.  In fact, their data shows exceptionally close correlation between cosmic ray flux and global temperature. This is not included in the model inputs.  Even for the causative factors we do know about and include there is still the question of how large is the impact of each factor.  In many cases, for the climate models the coefficients specified for each factor are little better than informed guesses.  For example, at present modellers have assumed that clouds provide positive feedback and that is what is embodied in their input data.  Yet there is significant evidence that cloud feedback could be quite strongly negative.  Thus not only is the magnitude of the co-efficient in question but even the sign is in question.

So what is the impact of leaving out a factor from a model or having a wrong co-efficient?  It could be minor or it could be profound.  Lets take a completely hypothetical example, imagine the Svensmark effect contributed say half the warming of the 20th century and carbon dioxide the other half.  Leaving solar effects out would lead the model to predict half the observed warming.  But scientists adjust their model against known data to get the best possible match.  In this case that would lead to the coefficient for carbon dioxide being increased to twice the correct value implying a very large impact from carbon dioxide.  So adjusted, the model appears to match reality quite well over the limited period from 1975 to 1998.  However what about if solar magnetic activity falls (as now appears to be happening)?  In that case real world data would show a rapid decrease in warming (or even cooling) while the model output continues to show strongly rising temperatures.  In short the two errors cease to cancel and instead add to each other.

Thus, errors or omissions in the input may be masked by compensating errors in coefficients of known factors especially over the data set used to calibrate the model.  However, when the model is used to predict the future and that prediction is later compared with observed reality significant differences start to show up.

So can we ever really know if a model is a reasonable reflection of reality and thus a sound basis for predicting the future?  The only real way is to use the model to predict the future and then with the passage of time compare that prediction with the real world.  The longer the two agree the more faith one can reasonably put in the model.  On the other hand if the two disagree substantially, model credibility is rapidly eroded.  This process is often called model validation.

Such model validation is of course being done all the time on the output from climate models.  The trouble is that the model outputs depart very rapidly and significantly from reality and basically have failed all validation tests.  This would lead one to have no faith in climate models just as the skeptics claim.  AGW advocates respond to that by claiming that the models are focussed on predicting climate not weather.  Weather is about short term events and is highly chaotic in nature.  Climate is about longer term trends and is presumably less chaotic.  Since the comparisons have been over relatively short time scales that explains the mismatch. 

This is an interesting claim.  Nature obeys rigid immutable laws and thus is predictable given sufficiently detailed knowledge.  So the AGW claim really amounts to an admission that the models are incomplete and the lack of detail prevents prediction at the scale of days but may not prevent prediction at the scale of decades or centuries.  Such claims are not entirely unreasonable, averaging eliminates the impact of many complex short term variables, which are hard to quantify ,and thereby much of the chaotic nature of weather.  Climate can be considered as just long term average weather and maybe the models are good enough for reliable long term average predictions.  So it may not be reasonable to expect climate models to predict day to day weather.  In that case, over what time scale does it become reasonable to test the model output?

The northern hemisphere has just gone through a particularly cold severe winter.  I have not seen any suggestions the models predicted that and I am very confident I would have heard loud and clear if they had.  Thus one has to suppose time scales as short as a year are still too short.  Going further, the climate has been cooling now for 7 years and was static for 4 years before that yet the models predicted continuing strong warming over the same period.  This is much more serious for a number of reasons.  Firstly one would very realistically expect a climate model to offer accurate predictions over a time scale of a decade.  The fact that they clearly haven’t begins to suggest they are simply wrong.  This is particularly the case when one considers that the entire AGW hypothesis is based on only 23 years of warming (1975-1998).  Before then the earth was cooling.  If 1 decade is not long enough to differentiate between weather and climate then why would one suppose a bit over 2 decades was so dramatically better that it could form the foundation of the entire AGW hypothesis.  Maybe the period from 1975 to 1998 was also just an example of random chaotic weather.

Another problem is that according to the claims of AGW advocates we are running out of time.  We supposedly don’t have several more decades to see if the model outputs are correct.  Yet today’s data gives no basis what so ever for believing the model outputs represent anything approaching reality or form a reasonable basis for deciding future policy.

An alternative is theoretical analysis from first principles.  This is something which in my own small limited way I am trying to do, as are others.  Another way is to recognise that nature works by rigid adherence to natural law and is thus repeatable.  This means that we can look back through the historical record for similar situations.  If we can find such situations then the response that occurred then is a good indicator of what might happen in our immediate future.   This was exactly  the basis for the original carbon dioxide driven global warming claims.  Vostock Ice core data showed carbon dioxide levels and temperature  rising and falling together.  Cause and effect was claimed, proof that rising carbon dioxide caused temperatures to increase.  Since then, more accurate dating has shown temperature rises or falls 800 years before carbon dioxide responds.  This negates the original claims since it shows that  rising temperature causes rising carbon dioxide not vice versa. 

The most reliable data is of course the most recent.  Over the last century, from 1900 to 1940 we had significant warming with very little increase in carbon dioxide levels.  From 1940 to 1975 we had strong cooling while carbon dioxide levels were increasing rapidly, from 1975 to 1998 both carbon dioxide and temperature were increasing significantly and now from 1998 to 2009 we have cooling while carbon dioxide levels continue to increase.  That represents 40 years of no correlation, 46 years of negative correlation and 23 years of positive correlation.  What possible rationale justifies claiming 23 years of positive correlation proves the AGW theory while ignoring 86 years of negative or zero correlation.

There are many others who are going back further into Earth’s historical record with more skill than I have.  The reports I have seen suggest firstly that current temperatures are in no way abnormal, secondly that current carbon dioxide levels are also in no way abnormal and most importantly that the historical record shows little cause and effect between carbon dioxide level and temperature.  This is significant evidence that needs to be evaluated carefully with a cool unbiased head.  I would also suggest that the theoretical analysis from first principles can give very high quality answers and also warrants more attention.

*****************

Michael Hammer graduated with a Bachelor of Engineering Science and Master of Engineering Science from Melbourne University. Since 1976 he has been working in the field of spectroscopy with the last 25 years devoted to full time research for a large multinational spectroscopy company in Melbourne.

Past contributions at this blog can be found here: http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/author/michael-hammer/

201 Responses to Pondering Problems with Computer Climate Models: A Note from Michael Hammer

  1. Larry April 27, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    Anything worth doing is worth beating to death! 🙂

    In a nutshell, Michael is saying that the present climate change computer modeling falls under the category of proof by assuming your conclusion, and that these models have been shown to have negligible prediction value–or even ‘postdiction’ value–which invalidates them in a scientific sense.

    Numbers that come out of a computer are NOT the word of God. Michael has done a good job of demolishing the Cargo Cult argument for AGW Disasterism.

  2. Jimmock April 27, 2009 at 8:34 pm #

    And the arguments against Hammer are as follows:

    1. How dare you impugn our integrity
    2. We’ve worked so hard for so long on our computer models
    3. Never mind the science, think of the children
    4. Look how many we are
    5. Look how much money we have
    6. Don’t mess with our powerful friends
    7. You’ll never work in this town again

  3. Luke April 27, 2009 at 8:48 pm #

    Jimmock – that would be the most stupid bean-brained thing I’ve seen this week. Mate are you from whoop whoop?

    Do you really think any of that goes on in the mind of those intelligent enough to attempt the computer modelling of climate.

    Hammer’s little rant about CO2 and temperature correlations tells us why he should stick to fixing our ICP-MSs’.

    Perhaps that’s why they might need models. Nah don’t worry about it. Just have a good ranting fit.

    Time for a Nazi outburst from your sponsor.

  4. SJT April 27, 2009 at 9:10 pm #

    “So adjusted, the model appears to match reality quite well over the limited period from 1975 to 1998. However what about if solar magnetic activity falls (as now appears to be happening)? In that case real world data would show a rapid decrease in warming (or even cooling) while the model output continues to show strongly rising temperatures. In short the two errors cease to cancel and instead add to each other.”

    The two statements there do not relate logically. If the sun cools more than would be expected, and the models show a rising temperature, that’s not the fault of the models, that’s our inability to predict the suns output in the future. The sun is not responsible for the current cool couple of years, that La Nina is, and the decade is still the hottest on record, overall. The models do not claim to provide an accurate year by year trend. It has never been claimed that they can, since they cannot predict when such events as El Nino and La Nina will occur, (although they do have their own internal cycles). The goal is the long term trend we can expect.

  5. cinders April 27, 2009 at 9:35 pm #

    “All models are wrong, but some are useful” – George Box (1976).

  6. Alan Siddons April 27, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    Internal Modeling Mistakes By IPCC Are Sufficient To Reject Its Anthropogenic Global Warming Conjecture
    Albedo Regulates Climate, Not The Greenhouse Effect
    CO2 Has No Measurable Effect On Climate
    http://www.rocketscientistsjournal.com/2009/03/_internal_modeling_mistakes_by.html

  7. bazza April 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Mr Hammer states:”Evidence is independent information which can be used to support or destroy a theory”. Well, yes, maybe, maybe it depends. So how do general problems with computer models as a class help you knock a particular model. ? So how do problems with a particular model cast doubts on models in general.? If you start with the answer, any question will do.

  8. cohenite April 27, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    Little will, can you provide evidence that this “decade is still the hottest on record, overall.”?

    Here is some evidence that it is not;

    http://tomnelson.blogspot.com/2007/10/if-you-no-longer-like-us-temperature.html

  9. Julian Braggins April 27, 2009 at 10:08 pm #

    SJT
    “The two statements there do not relate logically. If the sun cools more than would be expected, and the models show a rising temperature, that’s not the fault of the models, that’s our inability to predict the suns output in the future.”

    Then explain why these Models , which are so revered by the AGW warmists, do not correctly account for the solar variation effect on climate, do not account correctly for the oceanic cycles, cloud effects, and the long term warming effects of temperature on CO2 ( think back 800 years).

    Temperatures and ice cover have reverted to 1980 or so, maybe briefly maybe not, but given that all the predictions that were supposed to validate these models have failed in all but most minor degrees, the question is, should we destroy western prosperity on the ground of these failed MODELS

  10. Luke April 27, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    “the question is, should we destroy western prosperity ” Are you really that utterly stupid !

    Yes – I can just see queues of democratically elected governments racing to destroy their voter base.

    Look out or the boogey man will get ya….. oooooooooooooo…. ooooooooooooo…. BOO !

    Meanwhile and speaking of how useful models are (read it and wheeze denialist scum)

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml Non‐annular atmospheric circulation change induced by stratospheric ozone depletion and its role in the recent increase of Antarctic sea ice extent

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GL037155.shtml Still going up boys !

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA ! Eat GRL power denial-bots … you’re going down guys. Give up while you can save your souls. hahahahahahahaha

  11. Lukenjoy :-) April 27, 2009 at 11:04 pm #

    And just for Cohers – another sort of useful modelling – some nice PC work. Looks like deacdal variability also weakening.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GL036924.shtml

    enjoy !

    🙂

    (we’ll just add that to SAMmy seal, STR, IOD, Walker circulation, increasing drought, decreasing river runoff – at some point Cohers you out of all of them might start getting a tad curious)

  12. julian braggins April 27, 2009 at 11:23 pm #

    I shouldn’t feed the trolls,
    but here goes, Socialists believe in an equal share of everything, which after a generation or two turns out to be an equal share of nothing, but the rulers enjoy power while they can. Those in power at the moment, excepting one or two, are advised by tenured sychophants that prefer not to tell the emporers they have no clothes

    Ref 1 The main cause of reduction of ozone was and is solar, not fluorocarbons, Nasa research.

    Ref 2 Read the last line, ‘the trend is similar but reduced’ the trend was down.

  13. cohenite April 27, 2009 at 11:55 pm #

    luke; from the Turner et al piece;

    “However, statistics derived from a climate model control run suggest that the observed sea ice increase might still be within the range of natural climate variability.”

  14. bill-tb April 28, 2009 at 12:00 am #

    Computer models are not science, they are simply a mathematical tool. And if not verfied by real world testing, they are less than worthless. So unless you have a compter model of climate that can accurately predict the last 5 million years, then you have nothing.

    The other last point is given the earth is 4.5 billion years old, looking at climate in years is just stupid.

    Would you use the computer model for a bridge design, without verufying the model first?

    If you are into prediction, then use statistics instead. And then it’s just a best guess sort of thing. Hurricane predictions anyone?

  15. SJT April 28, 2009 at 12:07 am #

    Tony Jones ripped Ian Plimer apart on Lateline. A masterful job, I have to say. Plimer was reduced to trying to rationalise how he was going to stop contradicting himself. And as for Plimer’s use of Beck in his book, that places his him firmly in the denialist camp, he is no sceptic.

  16. Luke April 28, 2009 at 12:46 am #

    And just for Cohers – another sort of useful modelling – some nice PC work. Looks like decadal variability also weakening.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2008GL036924.shtml

    enjoy !

    (we’ll just add that to SAMmy seal, STR, IOD, Walker circulation, increasing drought, decreasing river runoff – at some point Cohers you out of all of them might start getting a tad curious)

  17. Luke April 28, 2009 at 12:51 am #

    Careful Cohers – despite M C Hammer’s title – you’re now quoting model runs as evidence. Insidious isn’t it?

  18. sod April 28, 2009 at 12:56 am #

    Mr Hammer, a simple question first: if you don t understand something at all, why write an article about it?

    the errors start in the very first line:

    These models are very sophisticated and complex and their outputs suggest that increasing carbon dioxide will lead to significant temperature rises for our planet.

    the models don t suggest anything of that kind. the CO2 forcing is an INPUT into the model!
    the output is a temperature.

    a model that takes into account what we know about reality (including the physics of CO2 forcings) gives a reasonably good long term projection of temperature of our globe.

    Indeed the model outputs now represent the main evidence in support of the anthropogenic (man induced) global warming hypothesis.

    Indeed the model outputs now represent the main evidence in support of the anthropogenic (man induced) global warming hypothesis.

    completely false again. the main evidence is the right temperature increase at the right places. the main evidence is the complete absence of any other theory that could explain the current warming.

    Where models are used to explore a theory, very often the input data whether deliberately or not becomes heavily contaminated by the theory. For example, the researcher is convinced something has a very strong effect so he makes the co-efficient for that parameter large or he is convinced another effect is negligible so he omits it completely.

    yes, and a check against reality would immediately show the errors in the model. most of the PHYSICAL EFFECTS “modeled” will not be invented by the guy writing the model, but come ferom the literature. you can t just make up your own facts!

    The only real way is to use the model to predict the future and then with the passage of time compare that prediction with the real world. The longer the two agree the more faith one can reasonably put in the model. On the other hand if the two disagree substantially, model credibility is rapidly eroded.

    this (again) is not what is done. the models are verified against data from the past. data not used while working on the model.

    Nature obeys rigid immutable laws and thus is predictable given sufficiently detailed knowledge. So the AGW claim really amounts to an admission that the models are incomplete and the lack of detail prevents prediction at the scale of days but may not prevent prediction at the scale of decades or centuries.

    rigid laws, like the bounce of a die is perfectly predictable, with enough information about the physics. my model (1 in 6 chance for each side to show up) is pretty accurate though…

    Thus one has to suppose time scales as short as a year are still too short. Going further, the climate has been cooling now for 7 years and was static for 4 years before that yet the models predicted continuing strong warming over the same period.

    you are confused about your trends. (11 years ago was 1998. a 4 year trend starting in 1998 wont be flat)

    any why not use your own “approach” to this? are thee other “static” episodes in the past? do the models show similar static episodes? (they do, and even while simulating the time that they had data for. the models are even somewhat independent of the data used to make them!!!)

    please tell me: what literature on models did you use to produce this article?

  19. Jeremy C April 28, 2009 at 1:37 am #

    Yeah, I’ve just downloaded the Lateline Plimer interview. Plimer ducked and dived whenever Jones pressed him on the claim of temps cooling since 98. You are right SJT, Plimer tied himself up in knots each time Jones laid bare Plimer’s contradictions. Plimer tried everything and it led to him to show his lip service to scientific debate and logical argument.

    He constantly asserted in the interview how ordinary people have been brow beaten and frightened by those steely eyed, master race scientists (my words). As an ordinary person I found these repeated assertions that I can’t make my own decisions on AGW deeply offensive, let alone supremely unconvincing.

  20. hunter April 28, 2009 at 3:07 am #

    SJT,
    Mann’s work is predicated on stable climate pre-19th century.
    Yes, that is a transprent lie of his, but he is your guy.
    BTW,
    Your critique of point 1 is based on your misreading of what was written.

    It sort of makes the rest of your attempted hit rahter pathetic, sort of like Luke’s stuff.

  21. jack m April 28, 2009 at 3:24 am #

    SOD Said ” the main evidence is the complete absence of any other theory that could explain the current warming.”
    There are alternative explainations (GCRs, solar etc) but they are not accepted much by the establishment. That does not invalidate them.

    Also, the lack of an alternative theory is NOT proof that CO2 plays a significant role. THe CO2 aspect smells of idiology (CO2 of course is odourless ha-ha)

  22. sod April 28, 2009 at 5:50 am #

    There are alternative explainations (GCRs, solar etc) but they are not accepted much by the establishment. That does not invalidate them.

    there is no such theory. every week some denialist is driving a new idea down the road.

    any theory must also remove the CO2 effect, as it is real.

    you need a theory that says something like: the cosmic alpha centauri rays are causing the warming, and the beta effect of those waves is removing (reducing) the heating effect of CO2 in the atmosphere at the same time.

    good luck! ..

  23. hunter April 28, 2009 at 5:53 am #

    sod,
    AGW is the only (allegedly) valid theory because the believers in AGW reject all other explanations.
    That does not make the AGW believers right. That makes the AGW believers religious.

  24. hunter April 28, 2009 at 6:05 am #

    Sod,
    To emphasize the religious fallacy you are stuck with irt to your bizarre assertion that to falsify AGW theory one must remove the CO2 effect, are you actually saying that CO2 is the main driver of climate and that its effects are completely well known in relation to the other drivers of climate?
    Please do prove where GCMs have had much use in predicting the heat content of the oceans.
    Please also explain why this newsreel from the 1950’s should not completely falsify everything you guys have been saying about Arctic ice:
    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/26/ice-at-the-north-pole-in-1958-not-so-thick/#more-7368

  25. janama April 28, 2009 at 7:27 am #

    I found Tony Jones to be totally unconvincing as usual – he was supposed to be the interviewer, NOT the spokesman for the AGW crowd. He only put one argument, that being that the last 8 years are the hottest on record, a record that cover 100 years, what about before that, as Plimer was trying to point out without success?

    All Plimer has to say was the cooling temps were not predicted by the models as this thread demonstrates.

    The Australian says it better
    http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,25197,25395523-16741,00.html

  26. groweg April 28, 2009 at 7:33 am #

    This is a great article. I especially like the point that global warming models, despite their being implemented on computers, are little more than a restatement of the modeler’s theory due to their inclusion of factors the builders thought to be important weighted at the levels the modeler’s believed such variables should carry. These models are not derived from observed data (as many artificial intelligence computer models of scientific, engineering, or financial phenomena are), nor have they been tested successfully on “out of sample” or new data.

    As someone who has spent many years building successful computer-based models of complex (but not climate) phenomena I am very skeptical that models of noisy data where all the driving forces are arguably not known, where you have only a very small number of good years of data with any “predictor” variables, and have completed zero successful out-of-sample tests are worth the CPU time it took to run them.

    I think the best data we have for predicting climate is solar data. It appears that longer solar cycles lead to a colder climate. Right now we are ending a significantly longer than average length solar cycle 23. So expect a colder climate. The article rightly points out that CO2 levels have followed, not preceded changes in climate and, by our normal standards of cause-and -effect, they do not cause climate shifts.

    The AGW crowd is amazing in their ability to deny reality and common sense. (Read some of their articles explaining how CO2 caused the climate changes in the Vostok ice core data even though CO2 levels followed temperature changes by 800 years). It will be a lot of fun for us “deniers” to watch them squirm if we really do head into a grand solar minimum!

  27. Gordon Robertson April 28, 2009 at 8:10 am #

    SJT “The goal is the long term trend we can expect”.

    They have been wildly wrong since 1988 at least, and Hansen admitted that in 1998. How much longer do we have to endure this virtual science before we get back to good, old observational science?

    What is it with the IPCC, do they have shares in computer model technology? They have perfectly good data from satellites which they ignore. They are biased, pure and simple.

    And, please…can we get off this La Nina cooling rhetoric? The PDO just changed sign and it is a decadal system which coincides with NH cooling. Why are you always on about La Nina, which is more of an anual effect? The globe has been cooling since 2005…that is one mother of a La Nina.

  28. SJT April 28, 2009 at 8:16 am #

    “I found Tony Jones to be totally unconvincing as usual – he was supposed to be the interviewer, NOT the spokesman for the AGW crowd. He only put one argument, that being that the last 8 years are the hottest on record, a record that cover 100 years, what about before that, as Plimer was trying to point out without success?”

    As he pointed out the Plimer, it was Plimer who was making the big deal about no warming since 1998, then it was Plimer suddenly back pedalling when it was pointed out that the last decade has more of the hottest years on record than any other decade.

    Plimer also screwed up on 1938 being the hottest year globally on record. It wasn’t.

    Plimer also tried the ad hom about scientists only being in it for the money. If you are smart enough to be a climatologist, you are smart enough to get much better paying jobs than climate research.

  29. Gordon Robertson April 28, 2009 at 8:29 am #

    Alan Siddons re Glassman link.

    Here’s a similar link from Akasofu that claims the IPCC did not take into account recovery temperatures from the LIA.

    Note: takes a long time to load…probably 300 baud modem.

    http://people.iarc.uaf.edu/~sakasofu/pdf/recovery_little_ice_age.pdf

  30. janama April 28, 2009 at 8:32 am #

    Actually it was Plimer who pointed out to Jones that the 1930 temp referred to the US, not the other way around.

    Tony Jones is an interviewer and is supposed to be neutral – but in this interview he was clearly trying to nail Plimer on one point only and was clearly acting as a advocate for the warmers. What about all the other points in the book, surely he was obliged to cover more than just the one aspect he thought he could nail Plimer on?

  31. Gordon Robertson April 28, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    SJT “…it was Plimer suddenly back pedalling when it was pointed out that the last decade has more of the hottest years on record than any other decade”.

    That depends entirely on where you are in the world and it’s making a mountain out of a molehill. There is a few tenths of a degree difference, it’s not as if the world suddenly warmed by 5 C. The warming has been offset with sufficient cooling to average out to no average warming.

    I don’t know why you insist on closing your mind to the meaning of ‘globally-averaged’ warming. THERE IS NO ‘GLOBAL’ WARMING. The warming is highly localized to portions of the NH. The ‘hottest’ years to which you refer are mathematical averages in which the localized hot spots very slightly out-weighed the cooled areas, which account for roughly half the globe.

    You should put your models away for a bit and take a look at directly observed data. You’re living entirely in your mind.

    Once again, here is a contour map showing lower tropispheric warming for the past 25 years. Show me how your decade of intolerable heat has affected that data:

    http://climate.uah.edu/25yearbig.jpg

    Over 25 years, the maximum average deviation from the norm has been less that 1 C, and that is a localized warming. The average, as you can see on Spencer’s site is about 0 C, with a maximal average no greater than 0.25 C.

  32. SJT April 28, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    “Actually it was Plimer who pointed out to Jones that the 1930 temp referred to the US, not the other way around.”

    His book says otherwise, and Jones quoted from the book. When Plimer could see he was cornered, he came clean.

  33. Luke April 28, 2009 at 8:49 am #

    Oh no – the Ice Age “recoverY’ scam again – I had a bad fever and I “recovered”.

    Recovery – ROTFL.

    Plimer was sliced and diced – his principle was that sort time scales don’t matter – then he went to bang on about it. T Jones simply showed his hypocrisy. One of his colleagues has chastised him for misquoting his sea level work. And quoting work out of date.

    The same old same old recycled denial. Why are we not surprised.

    Take a hike scammers.

  34. cohenite April 28, 2009 at 8:54 am #

    Re: the abc interrogation of Plimer; Jones is a swine; he called Plimer a liar on the basis of the 1998 decline in temperature and whether the post-2000 temps are the hottest; there was no consideration of the GISS misrepresentation of the US data not to mention the extraordinary falsifications that AGW is based on; so JC, little will and the other members of the herd; show me your evidence that post-2000 years are the hottest on record and the Earth is not cooling; otherwise I’m calling Jones a liar.

  35. janama April 28, 2009 at 9:06 am #

    But why does Jones believe it’s his responsibilty to prove Plimer wrong? He let’s Karoly etc get away with all sorts of bullshit such as the recent Wilkins Ice shelf fiasco.

    Clearly Tony “thank you for being there” Jones is a totally biased journalist when it comes to climate change.

    as I said before the Australian editorial is more balanced.

  36. Luke April 28, 2009 at 9:28 am #

    Come off it Cohers – he exposed the book for the bulldust that it is. Just more denial from denialists.

    At some point you guys are just going to get buried.

    Ocean heat still going up too – hahahahahahahaha !

  37. cohenite April 28, 2009 at 9:43 am #

    Not good enough luke; let’s start with IPCC data;

    http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_0oNRupXJ4-A/R0bUzxqFBgI/AAAAAAAAAG4/s8Hpo9G-kSU/s1600-h/Picture+28.png

    All you guys have is this;

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20081216.html

    Quoted by a thug from our abc which is the major sponsor of this group;

    http://www.aussmc.org/about_sponsors.php

  38. SJT April 28, 2009 at 10:08 am #

    “there was no consideration of the GISS misrepresentation of the US data not to mention the extraordinary falsifications that AGW is based on;”

    Jones called him on his own reference source.

  39. SJT April 28, 2009 at 10:11 am #

    “Not good enough luke; let’s start with IPCC data;”

    The old tactic, just move the goal posts. I was surprised Jones did such a good job of the interview, Plimer clearly didn’t see him being so on top of the topic, and was clearly flustered.

  40. janama April 28, 2009 at 10:19 am #

    and was clearly flustered

    no frustrated!! Plimer wanted to talk about the points in his book, Jones wanted to prove him wrong.

    Where does Jones get the idea that he his qualified to argue the subject? he’s a damn journalist for Christsake!.

    I note that Robin Willams hasn’t mentioned global warming for the past month yet so much that should have been reported hasn’t been.

  41. hunter April 28, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    Don’t know Pilmer or Jones, but I would love to see Hansen or Gore have the willingness to even show up where the questions are not pre-screened…….but of course the science is settled, lol.
    It is always the people who are correct who are willing to take risks. Liars and con-artists never expose themselves to serious challenges.
    If the standard now is that once an idea is shown to have a problem then the entire body of work is tossed, then how in the heck is Hansen, Gore and the IPCC still in business at all?

  42. jennifer April 28, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    NOTE RE. MELBOURNE LAUNCH OF IAN PLIMERS BOOK

    I was hoping you could make a slight amendment to details about Ian Plimer’s Melbourne book launch on your blog. Due to demand, we’ve now booked a larger room and we’re able to accommodate more people.

    The details are as follows:

    Date: Wednesday 6th May, 2009
    Time: 5:30pm – 6:30pm
    Location: The Hotel Windsor, 111 Spring Street, Melbourne
    RSVP essential: Bree Ambatzis, 03 9600 4744 or bambatzis@ipa.org.au

  43. kuhnkat April 28, 2009 at 11:33 am #

    My goodness, the Global Cooling Denialists are in their Best Psychotic Rant mode!!!

    Luke, I love your strident cackling. Very representative of your false position and deluded “facts!!”

    SJT, keep up the good fight!! Never say die!!

    Old SOD, what can I say. A larger pile of steaming illusion is hard to find short of the IPCC Summary for Suckers!! Well DONE!!

    HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  44. cohenite April 28, 2009 at 11:39 am #

    little will, you nong, the goal-post are the post 1998 temperatures; this was jone’s only point; that the current post 1998 temps are the highest ever; clearly they aren’t, not just because of the evidence of the US record which revealed the arrogant manipulation by GISS, but because of data from elsewhere in the world as well; the Arctic, Canada, Greenland and most of Australia as a glance at the CRS particulars will show.

  45. DHMO April 28, 2009 at 12:59 pm #

    SJT and the Lateline comment. http://www.abc.net.au/lateline/content/2008/s2554128.htm
    I don’t see how the comment can be supported! It comes down to Plimer is challenging the prevailing view. I think we knew that. Tony Jones is a journalist I guess some don’t realise this. Kerry O’Brian and Tony Jones are well skilled public speakers who push their own barrow. Kerry could get Einstein to admit the theory of relativity is wrong. This is not how science is done, to think so is really really stupid.

  46. Luke April 28, 2009 at 1:09 pm #

    Jones smelled cooked books and faux scepticism. I reckon he was soft on Plimer out of respect for his geological credentials.

    Cohers – Plimer said short term periods don’t tell you much. Then he spent vast amounts of the book on those short term periods.

    But on the busy business of trends – you set Hadley’s SST data set and the separate NMAT data sets – so we get away from land surface stuff – the bloody big PC1 is the centennial upward trend since 1800s. PC 2 is the AMO and PC3 close behind is the IPO.

    THE END !

    Anyway – don’t let us divert you. We’re supposed to be discussing Mr Hammer’s fascinating insights into modelling. Drone on

  47. SJT April 28, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    “Cohers – Plimer said short term periods don’t tell you much. Then he spent vast amounts of the book on those short term periods.”

    Jones caught him out, and Plimer could only bluster. He must have been hoping for someone who couldn’t pick out such an obvious self contradiction in his own book, and just do what Bob Carter does in an interview, which is completely ignore the questions and just say whatever it is he wants to say.

  48. Hey Skipper April 28, 2009 at 3:16 pm #

    The only real way is to use the model to predict the future and then with the passage of time compare that prediction with the real world.

    Is it not possible to start with known initial conditions of, say, 1900, and run models to see how well they predict what we now know to be actual climate?

  49. PeterW April 28, 2009 at 3:54 pm #

    SJT wrote: “…If you are smart enough to be a climatologist…”

    Self preservation knows no bounds – if you are smart enough to be a ‘climatologist’ (whatever that is) then you’re smart enough to drink deeply of the funding ‘Flavor Aid’ in order to continue your chosen life of comfortable, even tenured academia.

    No effort is required, no real work needs to be done, just write a couple of ‘team’ papers using your ‘academic paper’ Word template, get a mate or two to ‘peer review’ them, then have them published in a compliant rag like Nature and settle back until next year’s funding round.

    One hardly need raise a single bead of sweat until an AGW agnostic comes along to threaten your comfortable world; then fight or flight reflexes kick in, hormones are released, pupils dilate (in the case of Luke & SJT bowels and bladder are voided on blogs), heart and lung functions accelerate and with self righteous bile searing your throat you snarl “DENIER, HERETIC, TOBACCO, MINING, ENERGY SECTOR, WHALE HUNTERS” and when a few facts start to confound your simple world you just sneer “only E & E, peer review” and turn your back on the real world to seek solace in warm embracing climate models – they believe in you, they console you.

    “Model, model on the wall is the world warming because of carbon pollution?” You sob, “yes master” it purrs in reply, “itsssssssssssssssssssssssssss carbon master, just carbon”.

    Still, if your charming academic world ends up collapsing when your model crashes after muttering “GIGO master” in ever more frantic loops, you can always get a job ushering kiddies around a decrepit display in Canberra.

  50. Neville April 28, 2009 at 4:15 pm #

    After watching the agenda ridden Jones on lateline it impressed me that the real skeptics and deniers are the AGW numbskulls.
    What they are effectivelly denying is the planet’s climate history that without human influence has produced many ice ages of about 100,000 years duration and then interglacials of 10,000 to 12,000 years.
    Then without human influence we’ve had the minoan, Roman, MWP etc and then a LIA and now all of a sudden this tiny increase in temp over the last 150 years is suddenly all because humans have increased co2 levels by .01% of the atmosphere.
    The intelligent sensible approach is to accept the TRUTH and not DENY climate history and concede that the climate always changes and always will, rather than prattle on like someone who is plainly barking mad.

    The rationalists accept climate has always changed while the fundamentalist religious morons only accept that humans have influenced this change.
    So stop DENYING natural climate change, it always has changed and always will.

  51. Ann Novek April 28, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

    ” “DENIER, HERETIC, TOBACCO, MINING, ENERGY SECTOR, WHALE HUNTERS” – Peter W

    Well, the Norwegian whaling and fishing communities I would say could be called pro-AGW, so in this case they have joined the environmentalists. Up in northern Norway they also celebrated the Earth Hour , and you can see pics on this in the ” whaler’s ” paper Lofotsposten, and to make you even more angry right now Al Gore is visiting the very whaling capital Tromsö , with other international foreign ministers and the Arctic Council to discuss climate change;)

    And the fishing and whaling communities have joined environmentalists to oppose nuclear reprocessing power plant Sellafield, cheerleading by famous whaler Bastesen, as well as oppose oil drilling in the north…..so sometimes old fashioned environmentalists are working jointly with whalers…. Funny world indeed:)))))

  52. DHMO April 28, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    This thread was about that ultimate waste of time and money GCMs. Luke et al have been allowed to steer onto some ad hominem vilification. Their only expertise how about we get it back on the topic?

  53. sod April 28, 2009 at 4:55 pm #

    Is it not possible to start with known initial conditions of, say, 1900, and run models to see how well they predict what we now know to be actual climate?

    this actually is, what is done. Michael Hammer either didn t look at any real literature about models, or he simply missed most of what was written in them.

    the initial values shouldn t be the data of just one year. that ism, why models typically do multiple runs to get a result…

  54. MAGB April 28, 2009 at 5:46 pm #

    Having read Ian Plimer’s book and seen the Lateline interview, my conclusion is that Luke and other like-minded posters on this site are making political statements. Tony Jones just nitpicked a couple of points and made no attempt to discuss the central thesis or any of Ian Plimer’s primary arguments. The main thrust of his book continues to go unchallenged, because it is so intellectually robust.

  55. SJT April 28, 2009 at 6:37 pm #

    “No effort is required, no real work needs to be done, just write a couple of ‘team’ papers using your ‘academic paper’ Word template, get a mate or two to ‘peer review’ them, then have them published in a compliant rag like Nature and settle back until next year’s funding round.”

    In other words, you have no idea, you just create fantasies to please your prejudices.

  56. sod April 28, 2009 at 7:13 pm #

    The main thrust of his book continues to go unchallenged, because it is so intellectually robust.

    about as robust as the Beck CO2 graph..

    http://scienceblogs.com/deltoid/upload/2006/10/beckco2.png

    behaviour of CO2 changed completely, when we started to accurately measure it….

  57. PeterW April 28, 2009 at 7:59 pm #

    SJT wrote: “In other words, you have no idea, you just create fantasies to please your prejudices.”

    SJT voids his watery, intellect free bowels yet again – proof his model doesn’t embrace him anymore.

    No comfort for SJT, no whispering of warm credendum from the AGW catechism, just silence as the tenets of SJT’s worship drift away into the realm occupied by the deferents and epicycles of a Ptolemaic planetary system.

  58. Jimmock April 28, 2009 at 8:03 pm #

    SJT: “Plimer also tried the ad hom about scientists only being in it for the money. If you are smart enough to be a climatologist, you are smart enough to get much better paying jobs than climate research.”

    Money isn’t everything. You should know that faith is its own reward… that, and the admiration of naive young girls and boys.

    And Luke, I commented on the bullying aspect of your crowd using the line ‘you’ll never work in this town again’ to illustrate the climate mafia tactics. Your response was to ask me where I’m from. Hmmm…

  59. Ann Novek April 28, 2009 at 8:53 pm #

    ” Indeed the model outputs now represent the main evidence in support of anthropogenic global warming hypothesis”- M. Hammer

    Well, it is noticed in fieldwork that :

    ” Svalbard: Ebbing Ice
    From March 1979 to March 2008 the average ice area in the Barents Sea declined by nearly 30 percent, though annual ice cover has varied widely. In 2007 and 2008 the sea-ice extent dipped to the lowest on record.”- National Geographic Magazine April 2009

    It is as well a little bit outrageous that Jennifer Marohasy and Marc Morano and co are ” dictating science” behind computers without observing what signs people in the field ( nature) are observing re climate change/ global warming.

    What ever we like about whaling and sealing , the whalers do KNOW the elements better than any other people , so their observations must be looked upon seriously. Sealers for example have noticed that seals have moved towards New Foundland due to warming etc.

    The Norwegians are also undewr threat from international boycots all the time for whaling , and are not especially keen of Greenpeace and co. Despite this are Norway the leadng nation that says that AGW is real…..and that action must take place…..

  60. DHMO April 28, 2009 at 9:01 pm #

    MAGB Yes I have just watched it I agree entirely. If Jones or anyone else thought it was a debate they lost. I thank SJT for refering us to such a very worthwhile broadcast. For the ABC to give Plimer publicity and help him get the message out is also pleasing. The book is now on the third print run I can’t wait to read it! But we should not be commenting about Plimer. These sort of things are to introduce a distraction from the subject of the thread. The trolls that luke here do it all the time.

    A GCM is nothing more than a statement of how the modeller believes that the climate works. They are often defended by saying they have grounding in well established laws of physics. If the laws have certainity then GCMs would all produce the same output for the future climate, they don’t. What we see as GCMs are in fact mathematical creations to act as a conduit for a stream of supposition on future climate.

    Programming a computer to carry out a task is not trivial even for quite simple requirements. You start with a specification which is then coded by a system developer. The developer designs the overall structure, codes and unit tests each part to comply with the specification as he/she reads it. Once this is complete then someone else tests the overall output against the specification. There are many areas for error in this process. Many books have been written on the process of actually getting software to work properly. Even though computer software has been around since 1954 it is still not an exact process. GCMs are claimed to be able to predict the future weather over a long period of time. To do that we must have accurate data to cover a similar range claimed, we don’t. We need it to test against. That is if your GCM is designed to predict 50 years then we need at least that much data. If you need to tweek it to achieve this you have failed.

    Let us say I have created a Melbourne cup predictor. Good I have then necessary data so we do a run. It is only 10% successful say. Now I have factors built in that I can change. So I keep altering these until I get a 95% correlation. What have done? I have produced something that fairly accurately tells what I already know. It tells me nothing about the next Melbourne cup.

    I have been creating computer software since 1975. I have seen many claims such as this for what computers can do. The claim for GCMs ability are unbelievable the results obtained are worthless.

  61. sod April 28, 2009 at 9:28 pm #

    I have been creating computer software since 1975. I have seen many claims such as this for what computers can do. The claim for GCMs ability are unbelievable the results obtained are worthless.

    weather forecasts don t work at all. and look at how bad computers are at playing chess…

  62. Luke April 28, 2009 at 9:44 pm #

    DHMO – I’m glad you’re back on topic like I suggested at 1:09 – I think it was you guys who forced us to talk about Plimer.

    And hey if you think Plimer is right – well good on you.

    And carry on with the GCM discussion. Very impressive.

  63. Marcus April 28, 2009 at 9:50 pm #

    sod
    “weather forecasts don t (sic) work at all. and look at how bad computers are at playing chess”

    It shows how little you know about chess. (and also by inference about climate)
    Chess has strict rules, and one can test the possible outcome of every move, climate does not.

    Incidentally, I watched the recording of the Plimer “interview” on Lateline, having read the reviews here, I think we watched two different programmes.

  64. PeterW April 28, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    Marcus, sod has a point, weather forecasts don’t work out at all. See this for a quick comparison of BOM forecasts and observed weather.

  65. SJT April 28, 2009 at 11:35 pm #

    “GCMs are claimed to be able to predict the future weather over a long period of time.”

    No, they don’t, that claim has never been made. I just get so sick of people debating the issue, when they have no idea what they are actually debating against. Nine times out of then it’s pure fantasy.

  66. Luke April 29, 2009 at 5:39 am #

    PeterW’s link illustrates the basic point of sceptics ignorance about climate modelling.

    (1) you’ve brought both weather 1-7 days and seasonal forecasting (3-9 months) into the AGW climate modelling issue – maybe we could also bring in the price of eggs?

    (2) PeterW’s link is concerning our old mate and professional BoM basher, W Hughes, illustration of BoM “getting it wrong” on a “seasonal 3 month forecast”. Bloody nora ! Of course you can show examples of them getting it wrong – that’s the whole bloody point. They have not represented the system more than a probabilistic STATISTICAL system based on previous sea surface temperature indices. The link explicitly cited here http://www.bom.gov.au/silo/products/verif/ shows that on a consistency score – the forecast is a 6 out of 10 or 7 out of 10 thing. i.e. 3 years in 10 – minority odds will occur and they will “get it wrong”.

    That’s the nature of the system – it’s not a cop out – it’s simply what the technology is about. Many surveys have shown farmers want 80% or greater which is very difficult. Hence their experimental GCM – POAMA – which is doing EL Nino forecasts.

    If minority odds didn’t occur and BoM got it right all the time – you’d be VERY SUS ! Doesn’t work that way and never will.

    They also calculate cross validation (CV) statistics – http://www.bom.gov.au/silo/products/verif/ – a much stricter and perhaps pessimistic view of forecast skill.

    (3) And speaking of skill – a formal concept expressed as LEPS, ROCS , CV – BoM’s weather forecasts do show “skill” at predicting the weather. They will also get it wrong. Issue if do they get it right more times than wrong and how useful is that to your circumstance/business.

    (4) So we ain’t talking climate model AGW type GCMs here – hence our disdain at the drongoism on blog. And you guys wanna have a serious conversation about modelling do yas. Jeeeeeez !

    (5) For what it’s worth – all the stuff grizzled about – Hadley is having a go at just ONE MODEL – that will run from weather, through seasonal forecasts, decadal variability to centennial climate change with all the biospheric feedbacks as well.

  67. hunter April 29, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    So weather is as unrelated to climate as the price of eggs?
    And will Hadley get these latest models to actually get anything right?
    Their track record indicates that ‘no’ would be a safe bet.
    The only thing the Hansen/IPCC models have been good for predicting is Al Gore’s increasing net worth. But then that is the point, no?
    But since the climate models cannot predict anything- and more importantly have failed to show that anything unusual has or is happening in the real world, then what is their point? Oh, I know! employment for con-artists!

  68. Luke April 29, 2009 at 7:57 am #

    And fundamentally what PeterW has linked is NOT even from a GCM. It’s a sophisticated statistics analysis.

  69. Luke April 29, 2009 at 8:13 am #

    Drongo Hunter – a weather forecast is a different issue to a LONG TERM climate forecast. If you don’t dig that – get medicated now.

    Hadley models mget heaps of things right – there’s massive amounts of validation on all manner of issues (not discussed by Hammer and WHY NOT?).

    IN FACT – validating and testing models is what you do with a model! You don’t take it shopping.

    Really you have no basis for assessing the worth of the current models.

    Why – you guys want weather forecasts from model runs that aren’t weather forecasts.

    Models don’t well represent PDO – IPO type effects – but do they will eventually (he pronounces bravely).

    What you will eventually get in Real Life (RL) will not be an ensemble average – i.e. as per your IPCC report – but in RL – one realisation – a single instantiation of one ensemble member.

    You might that sucker may have quite a few wiggles its temperature evolution graph.

    Models are essential for understanding climate – you’re not going to get there with your little bitzy regressions and quickie empirical analysis – why – coz stuff INTERACTS. Yes bozos RL is complex – hence Antarctica – where you have decadal, greenhouse and ozone forcings all at work at the same time. Try juggling 3 balls – and for you sceptic mutants – not your own.

    Indeed this recent paper – which Hammer should have used as a case study – http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml – where you attempt to explain RL observations with state of the art GCMs.

    Reality is that all this is beyond you blokes. You’re simply hicks from whoop whoop. Or even worse retired economists, friggin old geologists – or super yukky lawyers and aqccountants.

    Rednecks bouncing around in utes having a ranty tanty about what some goon just told you from denial central.

    Wake up or at least have a Bex and a good lie down.

  70. eric adler April 29, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    Michael Hammer wrote:

    “The northern hemisphere has just gone through a particularly cold severe winter. I have not seen any suggestions the models predicted that and I am very confident I would have heard loud and clear if they had. Thus one has to suppose time scales as short as a year are still too short. Going further, the climate has been cooling now for 7 years and was static for 4 years before that yet the models predicted continuing strong warming over the same period. This is much more serious for a number of reasons. Firstly one would very realistically expect a climate model to offer accurate predictions over a time scale of a decade. The fact that they clearly haven’t begins to suggest they are simply wrong. This is particularly the case when one considers that the entire AGW hypothesis is based on only 23 years of warming (1975-1998). Before then the earth was cooling. If 1 decade is not long enough to differentiate between weather and climate then why would one suppose a bit over 2 decades was so dramatically better that it could form the foundation of the entire AGW hypothesis. Maybe the period from 1975 to 1998 was also just an example of random chaotic weather.”

    Weather and climate are chaotic systems. The important characteristic of chaotic systems is that if two runs are made,with close initial conditions, the results will diverge over time. So individual model runs cannot be expected to make accurate predictions of weather or climate. A statistical approach with multiple runs is needed to project the future, and projections are statistical in nature. This is true even if the model parameters and mechanisms are accurately known. There are many model parameters that have uncertainty on top of that since they are empirically derived, most notably, the effect of aerosals of all types.

    The short term internally generated variation in climate is very large. If one takes noise parameters extracted from the data, and add it to the expected trend of about .18DegC/decade,
    it is easy to see that decades or longer will pass without any discernable global warming. In some cases cooling will be observed. The current pause in temperature increase is not inconcsistent with the long term the trends forecast by the GCM’s.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/dont-get-fooled-again/

  71. Eyrie April 29, 2009 at 8:22 am #

    Michael Hammer, you made the following statement:
    “So the AGW claim really amounts to an admission that the models are incomplete and the lack of detail prevents prediction at the scale of days but may not prevent prediction at the scale of decades or centuries. Such claims are not entirely unreasonable, averaging eliminates the impact of many complex short term variables, which are hard to quantify ,and thereby much of the chaotic nature of weather. Climate can be considered as just long term average weather and maybe the models are good enough for reliable long term average predictions. So it may not be reasonable to expect climate models to predict day to day weather. In that case, over what time scale does it become reasonable to test the model output?”

    If the inputs to the model contain “noise” and the end state at the end of the first computation cycle is input to the second cycle etc then you cannot average and eliminate the noise on the eventual output. What you get is a random walk. Any coincidence with the real world is just that over any time scale you like at any time in the future. Climate modelling then depends on assuming that by doing a large number of runs whose individual outputs are random and meaningless and averaging them that you get something useful out. It is an easy assumption but has anyone proved rigorously that this must be so?

  72. eric adler April 29, 2009 at 8:38 am #

    There was one point I missed commenting about in the excerpt from Hammer’s post in my previous post.

    He implied that the temperature rise of the last 30 years was what drove the development of GHG theory. That is untrue. the GHG theory was used in GCM’s originated in the 1970’s, even before the Global Warming period began.

    The best understood part of the models is the effect of Greenhouse gases. Their radiaitonal forcing has the least uncertainty of all the radiational forcings included in the models. The roots of this understanding are basic physics, in contrast to the other forcing mechanisms which are empirically derived.

    It is also a mistake to imply that global temperature correlation is the means used to derive or verify model parameters. There are so many mechanisms that contribute to temperature change that such a procedure would be hopeless. Satellite and terrestrial measurements of radiation and other parameters such as humidity are used to determine the model parameters.

  73. eric adler April 29, 2009 at 9:00 am #

    Comment from: Eyrie April 29th, 2009 at 8:22 am

    “If the inputs to the model contain “noise” and the end state at the end of the first computation cycle is input to the second cycle etc then you cannot average and eliminate the noise on the eventual output. What you get is a random walk. Any coincidence with the real world is just that over any time scale you like at any time in the future. Climate modelling then depends on assuming that by doing a large number of runs whose individual outputs are random and meaningless and averaging them that you get something useful out. It is an easy assumption but has anyone proved rigorously that this must be so?”

    You are confusing chaos theory with random walk. They are not the same thing. In Physics, thermodynamics /statistical mechanics are theories that work perfectly well in real life that are based on statistical ensembles similar to what is used in climate science. What we are actually interested in is the behavior of statistical averages, and this form the basis for thermodynamics
    For a discusssion of how chaos theory figures into climate science click on the following link:

    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=204

    “We can demonstrate this sort of climate response clearly in the Lorenz model, or any more complex climate model. Perturbing the initial conditions gives a completely different trajectory (weather), but this averages out over time, and the statistics of different long-term runs are indistinguishable. However, a steady perturbation to the system can generate a significant change to the long-term statistics.”

  74. cohenite April 29, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    “The best understood part of the models is the effect of Greenhouse gases”

    Well eric if that is the case then god help us all; even the IPCC admit they don’t have a clue about water; read p132 of AR4, the Executive Summary; and AGW absolutely depends on the enhanced greenhouse effect whereby the ‘little’ [non-existent] heating from increased CO2 causes extra water vapor into the atmosphere with a much larger effect on heating; but the role of water is extremely problematic and most likely a moderator of temperature trend; the EG is necessary for AGW because of this;

    http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/1994/logwarmingillustratedeo8.png

    Extra CO2 from any source has a exponentially declining effect; the maximum absorption effect of CO2 is about 20ppm and effectively expires [although it is asymtopic] at about 100ppm; in addition the absorption by CO2 occurs close to the surface, at about 10 metres or less.

  75. SJT April 29, 2009 at 10:07 am #

    “; in addition the absorption by CO2 occurs close to the surface, at about 10 metres or less.”

    Once again, you demonstrate you don’t have a clue. It absorbs and re-rediates all the way up.

  76. Marcus April 29, 2009 at 10:22 am #

    Comment from: eric adler April 29th, 2009 at 9:00 am
    ” What we are actually interested in is the behavior (sic) of statistical averages, and this form the basis for thermodynamics”

    This statement is utterly wrong and just ill informed mumbo-jumbo.
    How can statistic form the basis of thermodynamics?

  77. Luke April 29, 2009 at 10:24 am #

    Guess Marcus knows which way every atom is heading? LOL

  78. Marcus April 29, 2009 at 11:02 am #

    luke,
    No as a matter of fact I don’t know the direction of any atom , let alone the way of all.

    But if you don’t see the absurdity if eric’s assumption than, sorry, you are just sniping for no good reason.

  79. cohenite April 29, 2009 at 11:03 am #

    litle will, not even Philipona knows from what height his backradiation is coming from; the CEL is about 7-8 km above the surface; after the initial flurry and exchange of IR at the surface the parcels of air are carried convectively to the CEL where emissions resume; these papers are helpful for keen commentators like yourself;

    http://www.john-daly.com/artifact.htm

    http://arxiv.org/ftp/arxiv/papers/0809/0809.0581.pdf

  80. Eyrie April 29, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    Please Eric, Realclimate as a reference?

    You are claiming the model outputs are like the individual particles in statistical mechanics and therefore the averaged model outputs behave like the properties of a gas when the particles are subjected to statistical mechanical treatment.

    The models aren’t the real physical world.

    I suspect there are algorithms in the models which prevent the models from blowing up. This was a problem with early GCMs which after a few days produced weather patterns completely unlike any ever seen in the real world. These will probably result in the same output for the long term for small temporary disturbances and a shift in output for long term disturbances. Yet again the models will behave exactly as the modellers designed them to. Whether this bears any relationship to the real world is another matter. The models have some physical basis and then degenerate into fudge factors so that they behave somewhat like the real world.

    Marcus, Actually it does.

  81. eric adler April 29, 2009 at 12:37 pm #

    Comment from: Eyrie April 29th, 2009 at 11:10 am

    “Please Eric, Realclimate as a reference?”
    Your scorn is misplaced.

    The people who write for RealClimate are real climate scientists who do peer reviewed published research.
    They are more knowledgable and solid than the people who are featured on this web site, who often misunderstand the science because they are out of their field.

    “You are claiming the model outputs are like the individual particles in statistical mechanics and therefore the averaged model outputs behave like the properties of a gas when the particles are subjected to statistical mechanical treatment.”

    I am claiming nothing of the sort. That is a faulty interpretation of what I wrote.
    Statistical mechanics calculates the properties of large numbers of particles without having to follow all of the individual trajectories. It looks at the probability of occupation of all possible states of the assemblage of particles and calculates the properties of the material based on the averages using the occupation probability. C heck out the explanation of Statisical Mechanics on Wikipedia. It may help.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_mechanics

    The analogy between statistical mechanics and climate science is not exact. Stat Mech is an example of a complex system that looks at statistics to determine the properties of a complex system, without trying to accurately project the trajectory of all of the individual atoms.

    Ensembles of GCM’s are used to do the same thing. The difference is that the exact state versus time, of the atoms in a macroscopic hunk of material are not really of interest, and are not observable, and the statistics is all we need to know. That is not the case for the climate or weather, where the exact state is observable and of interest.

  82. eric adler April 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    Comment from: Marcus April 29th, 2009 at 10:22 am

    “Comment from: eric adler April 29th, 2009 at 9:00 am
    ” What we are actually interested in is the behavior (sic) of statistical averages, and this forms the basis for thermodynamics”

    This statement is utterly wrong and just ill informed mumbo-jumbo.
    How can statistic form the basis of thermodynamics?”

    Your ignorance of Physics is only exceeded by your overestimate of your knowledge.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Statistical_mechanics

    “The fundamental postulate in statistical mechanics (also known as the equal a priori probability postulate) is the following:

    Given an isolated system in equilibrium, it is found with equal probability in each of its accessible microstates.

    This postulate is a fundamental assumption in statistical mechanics – it states that a system in equilibrium does not have any preference for any of its available microstates. Given Ω microstates at a particular energy, the probability of finding the system in a particular microstate is p = 1/Ω.

    This postulate is necessary because it allows one to conclude that for a system at equilibrium, the thermodynamic state (macrostate) which could result from the largest number of microstates is also the most probable macrostate of the system….

    Statistical ensembles

    Canonical ensemble
    Main article: Canonical ensemble

    In canonical ensemble N, V and T are fixed. Invoking the concept of the canonical ensemble, it is possible to derive the probability Pi that a macroscopic system in thermal equilibrium with its environment, will be in a given microstate with energy Ei according to the Boltzmann distribution:

    P_i = {e^{-\beta E_i}\over{\sum_j^{j_{\rm max}}e^{-\beta E_j}}}

    ….
    Thermodynamic Connection

    The partition function can be used to find the expected (average) value of any microscopic property of the system, which can then be related to macroscopic variables. For instance, the expected value of the microscopic energy E is interpreted as the microscopic definition of the thermodynamic variable internal energy U, and can be obtained by taking the derivative of the partition function with respect to the temperature”

  83. SJT April 29, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    “not even Philipona knows from what height his backradiation is coming from; ”

    It doesn’t come from any one height, it comes from all heights, wherever there is greenhouse gas present.

  84. Louis Hissink April 29, 2009 at 2:35 pm #

    SJT:
    “It doesn’t come from any one height, it comes from all heights, wherever there is greenhouse gas present.”

    Oh really, GHG’s are the sole source of IR radidation from the atmosphere? Only in the computer models though, hey SJT.

    If we go to physical reality we might add a few more sources, no?

  85. Marcus April 29, 2009 at 2:51 pm #

    eric adler April 29th, 2009 at 2:07 pm

    OK whatever!

    Maybe I’m a stickler for clarity.
    Statistics is a TOOL can be used for many things, but it is NOT a “basis for thermodynamics.”

    No need to be abusive, but what am I saying?
    An AGW believer and not abusive?

  86. SJT April 29, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    “Oh really, GHG’s are the sole source of IR radidation from the atmosphere? ”

    I don’t know who’s easier to ignore, you or birdie boy.

  87. cohenite April 29, 2009 at 5:43 pm #

    little will; CO2 laden parcels of air are in thermodynamic equilibrium when they convectively uplift; the gas bulk of these LTEs is of course N2 and O2 which have been conductively warmed through contact with the ground and collisions with the excited through absorption CO2 molecules; the parcel will rise because its internal temp is > lapse rate; at the CEL the temp differential ceases, the parcel decoheres and emissions from the CO2 will then leave the parcel.

    eric; your canonical ensemble quote is interesting in that it is the justification for the concept of an average global temp or GMST which was critiqued by McKitrick, Essex and Andressen;

    http://www.uoguelph.ca/~rmckitri/research/globaltemp/GlobTemp.JNET.pdf

    the GMST is based on the average of anomalies at the plethora of particular sites around the globe; the difficulty here, apart from the rejection by such people as Arthur Smith of an equilibrium condition for the globe, is that the average of the anomalies cannot assist in the prediction of what is happening or will happen at the particular, microstate, sites; this phenomena informs the paper by Runnalls and Oke;

    http://ams.allenpress.com/perlserv/?request=get-abstract&doi=10.1175%2FJCLI3663.1

  88. Eyrie April 29, 2009 at 6:24 pm #

    Eric,

    I did a degree in physics and I’m familiar somewhat with the concepts of statistical mechanics. I’m also a (former)meteorologist, now instrumentation engineer.

    You also said “The analogy between statistical mechanics and climate science is not exact.” .

    Yep.

    I agree with you. So inexact I’d say as to be useless. Your analogy might impress the naive but give the rest of us a break please.

    Like many of the AGW trolls here and on other sites you sound superficially knowledgeable which probably snows some of the less knowledgeable people. BTW I’m quite aware of what RealClimate is. A propaganda site for deep green organisations. I have to admit Gavin Schmidt is good – he can convince some people white is black when they can see it is white with their own eyes – but evil.

  89. SJT April 29, 2009 at 7:08 pm #

    “I agree with you. So inexact I’d say as to be useless. Your analogy might impress the naive but give the rest of us a break please.

    Like many of the AGW trolls here and on other sites you sound superficially knowledgeable which probably snows some of the less knowledgeable people. BTW I’m quite aware of what RealClimate is. A propaganda site for deep green organisations. I have to admit Gavin Schmidt is good – he can convince some people white is black when they can see it is white with their own eyes – but evil.”

    Good grief. If you have done a degree in physics, then you should be able to understand the science to the extent you can present a decent rebuttal to the evidence. So far, nothing.

  90. Michael Hammer April 29, 2009 at 9:31 pm #

    It saddens me to see just how much of the comments are given over to invective and ad hom attacks and how little to useful critique. Do so many of you really have so little to usefully contribute? There were however some comments to which a reply is justified and I will try my best to do so here. My apologies for not citing the author of each comment.

    To the comment that the role of CO2 was known and considered in the 70’s. I was around as an adult in the 70’s and I clearly remember the discussions – very similar to todays except the topic was global cooling and an incipient ice age. If CO2 was so well known as a warming agent why such a strong conviction we were going into the next ice age?

    To the early comment implying that the cooling of the last few years is due to the sun and we can’t predict that. I agree that its possible the sun could be to blame and as yet we can’t predict what the sun is going to do but if the cooling of the last few years is due to an unpredictable sun then maybe the warming of the 23 years before that was also due to the same source.

    To the point that there is other evidence in the form of melting ice caps and receding glaciers. I have to strongly disagree. This is a common mistake, the issues you cite may be evidence of warming (not certain because there could be other causitive effects) but they are not evidence of warming due to rising carbon dioxide. They give no data as to the cause of such warming. Also, you cite the 2007 and early 2008 arctic sea ice data but do not mention the very rapid recover in the second half of 2008 and into 2009. You also don’t mention the increasing land and sea ice in the antarctic. It is easy to support a point with selective facts. I have not forgotten how model outputs were claimed to be consistent with a cooling antarctic, then when Mann published his paper claiming the antarctic was really warming the modellers were scrambling to claim ahh the discrepancy has been resolved and the antartci mow agrees with mdoel predictions. More recently a new paper claims the antarctic is cooling due to the ozone hole and now we hear again ahhh the discrepancy has been explained. Toi me, I confess it sounds like continuously adjusting the story to fit the latest claims.

    The point that models are tested with historical data which was not used in model formulation. In science even in fields whcih are not controversial the possibility of bias is well understood which is why the double blind protocol was developed. The developers of this protocol did not assume all researchers were cheats and needed to be controlled. Rather they realised just how easily unintentional bias can creep into measurements when the desired outcome is known in advance. Global warming is clearly a very emotional subject and bias can creep in exceptionally easily. It is for this reason that the only really valid test is by comparing model outputs with data not known at the time the model was formulated and run.

    To the point that the model output is highly dependent on intial conditions and one needs to run the model several times and take the average output for it to have any validity. Consider how a judge and jury might respond (in a hearing as to why a bridge fell down) to the defendant stating “your honour I ran the model several times and each time it gave me a different answer so I took several of the runs and averaged them to get a better estimate”. Do you think that would be accepted as a valid defence. Would you volunteer to be the first to walk over a bridge designed in that way? Now ask yourself what is a bigger issue – building a bridge based on such data or remodelling our entire society based on such data. Are you really saying that the climate response to increasing carbon dioxide depends on the initial conditions?

    The point was made that the 2000’s are the warmest decade on record. Whose record? I have looked at the GISS data (used as the reference by IPCC and others) many times and what is truely amazing is that the HISTORICAL record seems to be different almost every time I look. The latest I have seen is that Hansen has deleted all corrections for urban heat island. Now consider this for a moment. Listen to the weather on TV a few times and note the temperatures in the city versus outlying suburbs. I have done so for the city in which I live (Melbourne) and typically the city is 2-3 degrees warmer. A bit over 200 years ago Melbourne did not exist. Do we believe the plain on which it was built was warmer in that particular spot by 2-3 degrees? I don’t believe that. That means the temperature rise is due to the presence of the city. Now was most of the temperature rise in the first century when we had horses for transport, few paved roads no airconditioning no high rise buildings and little heating on in the second century? My money is on the 20th century not the 19th. Further do you think most of the temperature rise was in the first half or the second half of the 20th century? My money is on the second half. If so, what possible justification is there for removing all correction for urban heat island effects. From the data I have seen when the “corrections” are removed the warmest decade was the 1930’s not the 2000’s.

    To the person who commented in defence of models that weather prediction has improved. Weather prediction certainly has improved considerably but I think you will find that a major cause is much better and more comprehensive observational data from satellites. I suspect this is far more relevant than improvements in models.

    To the person who suggested that the role ascribed to carbon dioxide must be right because we cant think of any other cause. Do you really believe we must already know everything so that if we only have one explanation it must be the right one? Can you really not conceive that there might be some things we do not know. Consider in olden days they believed there were only 4 elements earth, air, fire and water. This was the only explanation they had so it had to be correct? History of all ages is littered knee deep in such erroneous beliefs.

    To the person who claimed that a 10 or even 15 year hiatus was not of great concern in the scheme of things. If so, what possible justification is there for all the global warming hysteria and calls for instantaneous action given that it is all based on only 23 years of warming. Are you claiming that a 15 year trend is of little consequence but a 23 year trend represents certainty. How can you justify such a claim?

    I am not saying models have no value and I am also not saying that the researchers developing such models are deliberately building in bias. Models are very useful as tools for improving ones understanding of complex subjects. What I am saying is that climate models at their current stage of development have too many uncertainties to be a useful basis for deciding on massively disruptive social change. I create models and use models in the course of my work but I have learnt that even simple models can readily give completely wrong answers for seemingly trivial omissions or errors.

  91. SJT April 29, 2009 at 9:48 pm #

    “To the comment that the role of CO2 was known and considered in the 70’s. I was around as an adult in the 70’s and I clearly remember the discussions – very similar to todays except the topic was global cooling and an incipient ice age. If CO2 was so well known as a warming agent why such a strong conviction we were going into the next ice age?”

    There was a huge difference between then and now. Back then it was a possibility that there was only tenyous evidence for. The ‘cooling’ scare came and went quite quickly. AGW is a theory that has over a hundred years of development behind it. No comparison when you look at it. Just compare the number of ‘cooling’ papers to ‘warming’ papers.

  92. Sid Reynolds April 29, 2009 at 9:49 pm #

    According to Weatherzone today, early this morning Charlotte Pass recorded a minus 13 degrees, an all time record April low for Australia. With record high Arctic ice levels for April and ever thickening ice levels in the Antarctic, the AGW case is standing on ‘very thin ice’ indeed! David Jones from the BoM seems very quiet at the moment.

  93. peter April 29, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    ‘Thank You’ to Michael Hammer for his article and his comments at 9:31 PM

    I have an additional question in this regard…

    Often we hear that the oceans too are warming – because of global warming. Could it be that we have in fact ocean warming, which in turn might cause global warming?

    See a typical comment under this address:
    http://www.livescience.com/environment/080627-sea-volcanoes.html

    To what extent are ocean currents (or the lack/change of them) contributing to global warming? On the net one can find lots of information that the Gulf Stream is slowing down substantially (and other currents I believe).

    Would global warming computer models be able to meaningful incorporate the massive data on all this?

    On a good, warm summers day, I can hold my hand on the forest ground quite comfortably, without problems. On that same day I would’nt be able to put my hand on the highway in front of my place, I would get burnt. Now there are thousands of hectares of highways, by-ways and autobahns, all radiating a lot of heat, straight back up.

    There are also a fair few trees missing from those we had a couple of hundred years ago, making it all worse still.

    Can this kind of data be meaningful included in any computer modelling about global warming and climate change? Is it?

    Thank you once again to Michael.

  94. Johnathan Wilkes April 29, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    sjt
    “There was a huge difference between then and now. Back then it was a possibility that there was only tenyous evidence for. The ‘cooling’ scare came and went quite quickly. AGW is a theory that has over a hundred years of development behind it. No comparison when you look at it. Just compare the number of ‘cooling’ papers to ‘warming’ papers.”

    every group of people, every office has someone like you, it’s pity but a fact.

  95. Luke April 29, 2009 at 10:28 pm #

    Michael Hammer – your article is pretentious drivel. Hence the level of comment.

    You have trivialised the whole science of climate modelling to the point of saying nothing.

    Indeed the Antarctic situation is the subject of a recent GRL modelling paper tabled above. building on work coming in from over a decade.

    The rest of your tiresome discourse is simply more recycled denial-o-sphere bilge.

  96. DHMO April 29, 2009 at 10:42 pm #

    Michael Hammer

    I have learnt that on this blog that you can nearly always tell the position that a particular person will take by the level of abusive words they use. Directly proportional I would say.

    As I said before on this thread I have a lot of experience creating computer systems. The GCM just does not cut it. I agree that in a general sense computer models can be useful but only if they are testable and are tested. If you have to have fudge factors because you really don’t know what parameters are required then it fails. I compared applying such a model to a horse race you may get it to correlate with the data you have but that will only tell you what is already known not the next race. I think they have a fundamental problem and only suitable for selling snake oil. I do not care if they show falling or rising temperatures the output is useless for what it is be used for. To predict the future not research. The following is an interesting comment. I think the world is turning against this lunacy.

    “Gradually the world of science has evolved to the dangerous point where model-building has precedence over observation and measurement, especially in Earth and life sciences. In certain ways, modelling by scientists has become a threat to the foundation on which science has stood: the acceptance that nature is always the final arbiter and that a hypothesis must always be tested by experiment and observation in the real world”.
    –James Lovelock, The Vanishing Face of Gaia: A Final Warning

    I do not agree at all with the Gaia idea but I do agree with this comment, modelling threatens science and will damage it.

  97. cohenite April 29, 2009 at 10:59 pm #

    Lovelock said that did he? I may have misjudged the old kook.

  98. SJT April 29, 2009 at 11:10 pm #

    “The GCM just does not cut it.”

    You know nothing about GCMs, and how they work.

  99. SJT April 29, 2009 at 11:13 pm #

    “every group of people, every office has someone like you, it’s pity but a fact.”

    Yet another post totally devoid of content.

  100. Yankee April 29, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    The increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration is known to be caused by human activities because the character of CO2 in the atmosphere, in particular the ratio of its heavy to light carbon atoms, has changed in a way that can be attributed to addition of fossil fuel carbon. In addition, the ratio of oxygen to nitrogen in the atmosphere has declined as CO2 has increased; this is as expected because oxygen is depleted when fossil fuels are burned.

    Furthermore, emissions of CO2 from fossil fuel combustion, with contributions from cement manufacture, are responsible for more than 75% of the increase in atmospheric CO2 concentration since pre-industrial times.

    Are you suggesting that we continue fouling the planet Mr Hammer? If so, who gives you that right?

    I take my information from those qualified in atmospheric toxicology, cautious observation and from real climate scientists where I am more than happy to accept their errors and corrections.

    I suggest you quit while you’re behind Mr Hammer.

  101. eric adler April 29, 2009 at 11:27 pm #

    Comment from: Michael Hammer April 29th, 2009 at 9:31 pm


    To the comment that the role of CO2 was known and considered in the 70’s. I was around as an adult in the 70’s and I clearly remember the discussions – very similar to todays except the topic was global cooling and an incipient ice age. If CO2 was so well known as a warming agent why such a strong conviction we were going into the next ice age?

    Some people thought that aerosals due to industrial pollution would result in global cooling and it got a lot of press, because it was getting cooler at the time. It did not get much attention in the published climate literature at the time and a lot of papers were concerned with the GHE.
    A survey of the scientific literature done recently pointed this out, but this has not made its way into the consciousness of the skeptics who harp on the news stories of global cooling in the ’70s.

    To the early comment implying that the cooling of the last few years is due to the sun and we can’t predict that. I agree that its possible the sun could be to blame and as yet we can’t predict what the sun is going to do but if the cooling of the last few years is due to an unpredictable sun then maybe the warming of the 23 years before that was also due to the same source.
    Most experts on the sun say the sun was not a significant factor, and TSI declined slightly during that period.

    To the point that there is other evidence in the form of melting ice caps and receding glaciers. I have to strongly disagree. This is a common mistake, the issues you cite may be evidence of warming (not certain because there could be other causitive effects) but they are not evidence of warming due to rising carbon dioxide. They give no data as to the cause of such warming. Also, you cite the 2007 and early 2008 arctic sea ice data but do not mention the very rapid recover in the second half of 2008 and into 2009. You also don’t mention the increasing land and sea ice in the antarctic. It is easy to support a point with selective facts. I have not forgotten how model outputs were claimed to be consistent with a cooling antarctic, then when Mann published his paper claiming the antarctic was really warming the modellers were scrambling to claim ahh the discrepancy has been resolved and the antartci mow agrees with mdoel predictions. More recently a new paper claims the antarctic is cooling due to the ozone hole and now we hear again ahhh the discrepancy has been explained. Toi me, I confess it sounds like continuously adjusting the story to fit the latest claims.
    The Antarctic is sparsely populated area that is hard to measure. Scientists do not have a good handle on it.

    The point that models are tested with historical data which was not used in model formulation. In science even in fields whcih are not controversial the possibility of bias is well understood which is why the double blind protocol was developed. The developers of this protocol did not assume all researchers were cheats and needed to be controlled. Rather they realised just how easily unintentional bias can creep into measurements when the desired outcome is known in advance. Global warming is clearly a very emotional subject and bias can creep in exceptionally easily. It is for this reason that the only really valid test is by comparing model outputs with data not known at the time the model was formulated and run.
    This is an underhanded way of accusing scientists as a class of dishonesty and lack of discipline.
    I don’t accept that.

    To the point that the model output is highly dependent on intiaIl conditions and one needs to run the model several times and take the average output for it to have any validity. Consider how a judge and jury might respond (in a hearing as to why a bridge fell down) to the defendant stating “your honour I ran the model several times and each time it gave me a different answer so I took several of the runs and averaged them to get a better estimate”. Do you think that would be accepted as a valid defence. Would you volunteer to be the first to walk over a bridge designed in that way? Now ask yourself what is a bigger issue – building a bridge based on such data or remodelling our entire society based on such data. Are you really saying that the climate response to increasing carbon dioxide depends on the initial conditions?
    We are not building a bridge in predicting the course of the world’s climate in the future, however, you seem to be unaware that a bridge is normally overdesigned to provide a margin of safety because bad stuff can happen to it that has not been fully anticipated.
    We are deciding between alternative courses of action based on incomplete data. It is not the same as building a bridge. It is more like making business decisions based on economic projections.

    That is enough for now.

  102. sod April 29, 2009 at 11:41 pm #

    To the comment that the role of CO2 was known and considered in the 70’s. I was around as an adult in the 70’s and I clearly remember the discussions – very similar to todays except the topic was global cooling and an incipient ice age. If CO2 was so well known as a warming agent why such a strong conviction we were going into the next ice age?”

    Michael you didn t answer my question from above: what literature on climate models did you use to write this article?

    neither did you review any literature, when making the 70s ice age myth.

    http://ams.allenpress.com/archive/1520-0477/89/9/pdf/i1520-0477-89-9-1325.pdf

    the scientists in the 70 were aware if the warming. some uninformed were not. it is basically the same today….

    ——————

    basically every point in the reply you gave above is false, i ll just pick those that seem to address my replies:

    The point that models are tested with historical data which was not used in model formulation. In science even in fields whcih are not controversial the possibility of bias is well understood which is why the double blind protocol was developed.

    the major problem with your article was, that you didn t seem to be aware of how climate models are checked.

    double blind is impossible in most non-experimental fields. thanks, you just got rid of half of our knowledge…

    The point was made that the 2000’s are the warmest decade on record. Whose record?

    you will not find a single person with any knowledge in the field, that will agree with you on this.

    To the person who suggested that the role ascribed to carbon dioxide must be right because we cant think of any other cause. Do you really believe we must already know everything so that if we only have one explanation it must be the right one? Can you really not conceive that there might be some things we do not know. Consider in olden days they believed there were only 4 elements earth, air, fire and water. This was the only explanation they had so it had to be correct? History of all ages is littered knee deep in such erroneous beliefs.

    you completely missed my point. theories aren t thrown away, because of a mild doubt. they are modified and/or replaced by new and better theories.

    the complete absence of any form of a competing theory is a major problem for the denialist side, and a massive strength of the consensus theory of AGW.

  103. PeterW April 29, 2009 at 11:51 pm #

    Luke wrote: “You have trivialised the whole science of climate modelling…”

    I agree – it is a trivial pursuit.

    Luke, SJT and sod in their snide and rude way self-importantly, cut and paste trivial extracts from trivial papers written by trivial people whose names would never be heard outside the scuffed cheaply floored hallways of trivial institutions if it wasn’t for the hysterical exaggeration of trivial warming.

    They are mildly amusing as they thrash about desperately trying to inculcate their trivial beliefs.

    But trivial they are and like the trifling efforts from which they quote they are enjoying a short inflated moment in the cooling sun when truth be known without this piddling subject their hyperbole would pass as unnoticed as they are in the real world.

  104. sod April 30, 2009 at 12:03 am #

    Luke, SJT and sod in their snide and rude way self-importantly, cut and paste trivial extracts from trivial papers written by trivial people whose names would never be heard outside the scuffed cheaply floored hallways of trivial institutions if it wasn’t for the hysterical exaggeration of trivial warming.

    i am really sorry for quoting real papers from real scientists doing real research. i hope i am not causing too much trouble with such “trivial” stuff to guys like you, who have their own facts….

  105. Luke April 30, 2009 at 12:04 am #

    What bulldust – “As I said before on this thread I have a lot of experience creating computer systems” – and none with modelling !!

    “I think they have a fundamental problem and only suitable for selling snake oil” – yes because you have decided a priori that someone who would bother studying all the physics and mathematics necessary to able to undertake science on such systems would be a corrupt individual hell bent on selling snake oil.

    How mental does that sound DFO?

    “modelling threatens science and will damage it” WTF – are you into mysticism ?

  106. Luke April 30, 2009 at 12:09 am #

    “cut and paste trivial extracts from trivial papers written by trivial people whose names would never be heard outside the scuffed cheaply floored hallways of trivial institutions”

    ooooooooooo Petey Poo is having a go. We’re mortally wounded. We’re so hurt we’ll have a big cry and then wander off to die of a broken heart.

    hahahahahahahaha

    get off the blog you vacuous clown.

  107. Noelene April 30, 2009 at 12:25 am #

    MARGOT O’NEILL: The claim that global temperatures have dropped since 1998, thus disproving a warming trend, is one of many rejected emphatically by one of the world’s climate scientists, David Karoly.

    DAVID KAROLY, UNIVERSITY OF MELBOURNE: Temperatures have dropped a very small amount since 1998, both in surface temperatures and in atmospheric temperatures measured from satellites. But that doesn’t mean that global warming has stopped. The temperatures, if we average from 1998 to 2008, they’re warmer than the previous 10 years, or the 10 years before that, or any 10-year period over at least the last 150 years.

    he he
    says it all about some interviewers
    Which 10 years could scientists pick to show global cooling is happening?

  108. hunter April 30, 2009 at 1:42 am #

    Yankee,
    You ahve accidnetally brushed on the real damage AGW has done to science and environment: Misplacing efffort and concern.
    You cannot show any toxic effects of human caused CO2 in the atmosphere. Yet there are many real toxins that need to be addressed.
    By AGW promoters falsely creating a panic over CO2, we have wated valuable time and resources.

  109. PeterW April 30, 2009 at 3:59 am #

    Luke dribbles: “Petey Poo ” and then follows with “get off the blog you vacuous clown”.

    What insight – no, not really, just the usual immature malformed scribbling of this blog’s resident blowhard.

    Luke and his venal ilk are all bluff and bluster behind their on-line anonymity, but nothing but cringing comb-overs in the real world.

    Off you go bully boy and mind some kiddies – tell them all sorts of exciting facts lest you “wander off to die of a broken heart”.

    After all where would this tiny corner of the virtual world be without Luke’s execrable contributions?

    Or more accurately where would Luke be without the succour of this hidden on-line place he uses to live his vicarious life.

  110. Luke April 30, 2009 at 6:46 am #

    That’s the spirit Petey. Put the boot in. Nicely written too.

    Anyway do you have any science points?

  111. eric adler April 30, 2009 at 6:53 am #

    Michael Hammer wrote:
    An alternative is theoretical analysis from first principles. This is something which in my own small limited way I am trying to do, as are others.

    Arhennius did such a calculation in 1896 and concluded that CO2 emissions would warm the earth by 6C if CO2 doubled. He didn’t have much in the way of tools to help with his calculations. Only the most primitive models and data, and pencil and lots of paper.

    Over the next 100 years or so, models have become much more sophisticated, use computers and put in more details about oceans and atmosphere. The results seem to have stabilized around 3C+/- 1.5C for CO2 doubling. Some empirical models have to be used, because first principles of physics cannot be used because of time and space resolution required is beyond the capabilities of the best computers we would ever expect to have.

    http://www.aip.org/history/climate/timeline.htm

    Another way is to recognise that nature works by rigid adherence to natural law and is thus repeatable. This means that we can look back through the historical record for similar situations. If we can find such situations then the response that occurred then is a good indicator of what might happen in our immediate future.
    Lots of luck. The emissions of carbon from human industry is an unprecedented occurance.

    This was exactly the basis for the original carbon dioxide driven global warming claims.

    Wrong. Arhennius knew about the ice ages alternating with warm periods but didn’t have paleo CO2 data. He did know about the laboratory measurements of the absorption of trace gases made by John Tyndall who originated the greenhouse theory. This explained why the earth didn’t cool as rapidly as expected at night.

    Vostock Ice core data showed carbon dioxide levels and temperature rising and falling together. Cause and effect was claimed, proof that rising carbon dioxide caused temperatures to increase. Since then, more accurate dating has shown temperature rises or falls 800 years before carbon dioxide responds. This negates the original claims since it shows that rising temperature causes rising carbon dioxide not vice versa.

    It does no such thing. It is known that Malinkovich cycles, which are variations in the earths orbit and axis tilt which occur periodically , cause long ice ages to alternate with warm periods every 100,000 years, due to differences in the pattern of warming by the sun. This causes a decrease in albedo and emission of CO2 from warmer oceans, which intensify the changes, as a feedback mechanism. The 800 year lag does not contradict the greenhouse theory of global warming at all.
    http://naturalscience.com/ns/articles/01-16/ns_jeh.html

    If you had read more about the real history of Global Warming, you wouldn’t make so many factual errors in your blogposts.

  112. cohenite April 30, 2009 at 8:52 am #

    The problem with you eric is that you are essentially a troll; every time you raise some interesting point such as microstate analysis you immediately lapse back into the orthodox mantras of AGW ideology; over any time period there is simply no causal connection between CO2 levels and temperature; here is a good analysis of this which shows that not only does CO2 level not only not follow temp but most times trends in the opposite direction;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/30/co2-temperatures-and-ice-ages/#more-5392

    The more ‘sensible’ pro-AGW sites at least stick to the superficially apparent fact that CO2 follows Temp;

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    But to establish AGW they have to argue for the enhanced greenhouse which basically says temps increase naturally causing extra release of CO2 which then causes more water into the atmosphere and the extra water has +ve feedback effects on temp; this is a dud bit of nonsense because water is not increasing uniformly and the way it is increasing only at the surface and declining at mid to high levels means the extra water moderates temp and increases OLR. Any way there is no relationship between CO2 and temp at any time span including the modern era;

    http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww350/infomgr/ArcticTempsvsCO2120yrs2.gif

  113. Luke April 30, 2009 at 9:49 am #

    Sigh

    PETM

    Deccan Traps

  114. Luke April 30, 2009 at 9:51 am #

    Emeishan Traps

    Siberian Traps

  115. toby April 30, 2009 at 10:37 am #

    “The GCM just does not cut it.”

    You know nothing about GCMs, and how they work.

    Comment from: SJT April 29th, 2009 at 11:13 pm
    So the fact that DHMO has years of modelling experience gives him no idea of how models work? We all know you make stiupid / religous comments….but come on dont be so fkin stupid!!

    “every group of people, every office has someone like you, it’s pity but a fact.”

    Yet another post totally devoid of content.
    What unlike your’s I suppose!!!!!

  116. Johnathan Wilkes April 30, 2009 at 10:55 am #

    Comment from: SJT April 29th, 2009 at 11:13 pm

    “every group of people, every office has someone like you, it’s pity but a fact.”
    Yet another post totally devoid of content.”

    You are not only a pompous fool but a dumb one as well (obviously can’t take a hint), go back and read ALL of your own comments and then talk about content.

  117. Faustino April 30, 2009 at 11:00 am #

    It’s sometimes said that non-climate scientists are not qualified to join the scientific debate. However, the IPCC’s projections/scenarios are all based on economic modelling, with assumptions on rates of growth and the greenhouse-gas-emissions-intensity of growth. This is primarily the field not of climatologists but of statisticians. econometricians and economic modellers, many of whom have totally discredited the IPCC’s modelling work – cf the Castles-Henderson critique. I’m not a climate scientist, but I first undertook economic modelling with a computer (ICL 1905) in 1966, and while my expertise as an economist is not in developing computer-generated equilibrium (CGE) models, I commissioned, directed and used such models to test economic policy alternatives over many years. This included assessing the potential impact of adherence to the Kyoto Protocol on the Queensland economy, in conjunction with global modelling by COPS (Monash) and ABARE.

    Typically, such models are used to forecast impacts over a decade, recognising the difficulty of devising parameters which are likely to remain valid for longer periods. They do not claim to forecast outcomes, but to estimate the difference in outcomes from different options. For example, if the base case shows 30% growth over ten years and the changed policy case shows 35% growth, this is taken to indicate that growth will be faster in that proportion with the policy change, but makes no claim as to whether or not those levels will be reached. In addition, economists usually require a 99% confidence level for robust results, though results at the 95% confidence level have some credence.

    By contrast, the IPCC models claim to show the probable magnitude of outcomes a century ahead. These models come up with figures such as, for example, the GDP of South Africa in 2100 being greater than world GDP in 1990, with commensurate growth in emissions from that country. That gives me no confidence, but the IPCC has said that it is 90% confident in the results. Not enough to convince me, particularly as there is a great body of work to query the basic climatological assumption of the models.

  118. SJT April 30, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    “The problem with you eric is that you are essentially a troll; ”

    The irony is thick here, you could cut it with a knife.

  119. SJT April 30, 2009 at 11:10 am #

    “You are not only a pompous fool but a dumb one as well (obviously can’t take a hint), go back and read ALL of your own comments and then talk about content.”

    Yet another post totally devoid of content.

  120. SJT April 30, 2009 at 11:15 am #

    “That gives me no confidence, but the IPCC has said that it is 90% confident in the results. ”

    It is very confident it has the science right. I believe the economic forecasts are not held to the same standard.

  121. PeterW April 30, 2009 at 11:58 am #

    Luke wrote: “Anyway do you have any science points?”

    No – I’m following your lead and only contributing empty posts and childish insults in the style you, SJT and sod have made so popular here.

    Unlike you though I just can’t be bothered copying and pasting trivial ‘science’ puffery to try and give the impression I’m doing anything else but being insulting.

  122. SJT April 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm #

    The problem with you eric is that you are essentially a troll; every time you raise some interesting point such as microstate analysis you immediately lapse back into the orthodox mantras of AGW ideology; over any time period there is simply no causal connection between CO2 levels and temperature; here is a good analysis of this which shows that not only does CO2 level not only not follow temp but most times trends in the opposite direction;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/30/co2-temperatures-and-ice-ages/#more-5392

    The more ’sensible’ pro-AGW sites at least stick to the superficially apparent fact that CO2 follows Temp;

    Once again, no idea. There are multiple forcings that can act on the climate, and have done so over the history of the earth. They can act with different strengths at different times for different reasons, it’s a complex system! Read the IPCC report, all the known forcings have been analysed. Without CO2, the earth should be much cooler at present.

    Also, as I have said repeatedly before, there has never been a previous time in the earths history when there were 6billion humans on it pumping out CO2 at such a rate. Just looking at the past history isn’t going to be much of a help on it’s own.

  123. cohenite April 30, 2009 at 1:08 pm #

    Watch it little will, your misanthropy is showing; those bloody humans.

    luke, as you know the PETM was followed by the Eocene Optimum, a time where even little will would have felt at home, and which had sustained temperatures as high as the PETM with a declining CO2 level; incidentally how do you explain the Holocen Optimum, given that according to IPPC orthodoxy the world then had a flat CO2 regime?

  124. eric adler April 30, 2009 at 1:24 pm #

    Comment from: cohenite April 30th, 2009 at 8:52 am

    The problem with you eric is that you are essentially a troll; every time you raise some interesting point such as microstate analysis you immediately lapse back into the orthodox mantras of AGW ideology; over any time period there is simply no causal connection between CO2 levels and temperature; here is a good analysis of this which shows that not only does CO2 level not only not follow temp but most times trends in the opposite direction;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/01/30/co2-temperatures-and-ice-ages/#more-5392

    Looking at your link, it seems that you are the troll here.

    I just finished discussing the point that analysis of temperature versus CO2 concentration in Vostock ice cores, without taking into account the Malinkovich cycles and albedo is the wrong way to look at this. CO2 is a feedback mechanism in this case, and that explains the lag. You simply ignored this point, and linked to Frank Lansner’s blogpost, which does the very think I pointed out was wrong.

    The more ’sensible’ pro-AGW sites at least stick to the superficially apparent fact that CO2 follows Temp;

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm

    This is really wacky. The above skeptical science web site makes precisely the same argument that I used to claim that Lansner’s article is nonsense.

    It is pretty clear that you don’t have a grasp of what is in the links you use.

    But to establish AGW they have to argue for the enhanced greenhouse which basically says temps increase naturally causing extra release of CO2 which then causes more water into the atmosphere and the extra water has +ve feedback effects on temp; this is a dud bit of nonsense because water is not increasing uniformly and the way it is increasing only at the surface and declining at mid to high levels means the extra water moderates temp and increases OLR. Any way there is no relationship between CO2 and temp at any time span including the modern era;

    http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww350/infomgr/ArcticTempsvsCO2120yrs2.gif

  125. SJT April 30, 2009 at 1:31 pm #

    “Watch it little will, your misanthropy is showing; those bloody humans.”

    I don’t recall any attribution of blame, it’s a case of unintended consequences. You completely ignored my point, I note.

  126. eric adler April 30, 2009 at 1:37 pm #

    Comment from: cohenite April 30th, 2009 at 1:08 pm

    luke, as you know the PETM was followed by the Eocene Optimum, a time where even little will would have felt at home, and which had sustained temperatures as high as the PETM with a declining CO2 level; incidentally how do you explain the Holocen Optimum, given that according to IPPC orthodoxy the world then had a flat CO2 regime?

    One would think that with all the reading that you do on climate that you would have understood that the Holocene Optimum was a result of Malinkovitch cycles:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocene_Climatic_Optimum
    This climatic event was probably a result of predictable changes in the Earth’s orbit (Milankovitch cycles) and a continuation of changes that caused the end of the last glacial period[citation needed].

    The effect would have had maximum Northern Hemisphere heating 9,000 years ago when axial tilt was 24° and nearest approach to the Sun (perihelion) was during boreal summer. The calculated Milankovitch forcing would have provided 8% more solar radiation (+40W/m²) to the Northern Hemisphere in summer, tending to cause greater heating at that time.

  127. Johnathan Wilkes April 30, 2009 at 1:43 pm #

    sjt
    “there has never been a previous time in the earths history when there were 6billion humans on it pumping out CO2 at such a rate”

    There was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past than is today. The temperatures were both higher and lower in the past before humans even existed, and so were the levels of CO2, even you cannot deny it.
    Anyway, what is so special about the human produced CO2? Is it in some way different?

    You are writing this sort of junk along with meaningless platitudes, and yet you are surprised when people try tell you to cut the BS?
    Amazing!

  128. Luke April 30, 2009 at 1:47 pm #

    PeterW – being a simple organism that responds to stimuli I have merely embraced the complete lack of courtesy and abuse handed out over years by sceptics. You have taught me well. I’m a graduate of your Mottsian school of deportment and diplomacy.

    When you guys clean up your own act – lets talk.

  129. Luke April 30, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    Now having cleared that up and seen the dingos off. (OK I’m kidding!) I meant denialist mongrels (OK kidding again). OK denialist scum …

    Cohers – nah come off it – PETM and Deccan Traps good documented examples. Stop trolling Cohers.

  130. Luke April 30, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    Johnathon – don’t give us the Earth is still here bit. Most of the species didn’t make it through. I assume you wouldn’t mind if humanity wasn’t suitable either.

    Humans are current ill adapted to the recent climate. It’s not that benign !

  131. Johnathan Wilkes April 30, 2009 at 2:05 pm #

    luke
    I’m not implying anything re. the existence of the Earth, although it would pay to keep in mind, that, yes it’s still here and we are still here as well, despite the past levels of CO2 etc.

    “Humans are currently ill adapted to the recent climate”

    Can’t agree on that, humans live in very diverse climatic conditions today, and thriving!

    Lets say you are right and we don’t make it, so be it, what do you suggest we do about it?
    Genetic manipulations perhaps?

  132. Yankee April 30, 2009 at 2:16 pm #

    “You cannot show any toxic effects of human caused CO2 in the atmosphere. Yet there are many real toxins that need to be addressed.”

    Indeed Hunter and the evidence that CO2 is a destructive force is a foregone conclusion in the scientific world – has been for decades but the information has been suppressed just as you are endeavouring to do likewise.

    Furthermore, CO2 is the progeny of carcinogenic, mutagenic and teratogenic chemicals such as polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, voltatile organic compounds etc etc. Add the adsorbents of carbon to persistent organic pollutants (POPS) and you have a toxic environmental soup culminating in a Darth Vader suite of all chemicals on the planet. I guess these are the ones to which you refer which you say need addressing? However, you cannot pump out CO2 without pumping out the others for all things are bound together – all things connect.

    Just to bring you up to date Hunter. The enlightened have now officially deemed CO2 a health hazard. These homo noeticus include the USEPA and scientists from the Stanford University who, this year, spelled out the direct links between increased levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and increases in human mortality due to ground level ozone, particles and carcinogens in the air.

    Therefore, why would you believe the environment is immune to industrial carbon dioxide when the planet’s ecosystems are shutting down because of fossil fuel depositions?

    Alas Hunter, I believe it is you and your ilk “who are wasting valuable time and resources.”

    “Deccan Traps,” “Siberian Traps?” Luke, what could be more fascinating to read than palaeontologist Dewey McLean’s hypothesis on:

    The Deccan Traps Volcanism-Greenhouse Dinosaur Extinction Theory:

    http://filebox.vt.edu/artsci/geology/mclean/Dinosaur_Volcano_Extinction/pages/studentv.html

    The planet’s cooling eh? Ever heard of La Nina, gentlemen of a corrupt faith?:

    http://www.metoffice.gov.uk/corporate/pressoffice/2008/pr20081216.html

  133. SJT April 30, 2009 at 2:43 pm #

    “There was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past than is today. The temperatures were both higher and lower in the past before humans even existed, and so were the levels of CO2, even you cannot deny it.
    Anyway, what is so special about the human produced CO2? Is it in some way different?

    You are writing this sort of junk along with meaningless platitudes, and yet you are surprised when people try tell you to cut the BS?
    Amazing!”

    Why would I deny it? Why would I want to deny it?

    There is no chemical difference in CO2 produced by burning fossil fuels, but it’s the change that’s important. We are taking our climate from one state to another, (as an unintended consequence). That new climate is not going to be very friendly for a lot of species, which adapt to optimise themselves to their environment. Mass extinctions of species have been the result of other rapid climate change events in the past. We are a species, and we depend on other species, directly and indirectly.

  134. SJT April 30, 2009 at 2:49 pm #

    “Genetic manipulations perhaps?” Oh yeah, Eugenics will save us all.

  135. Johnathan Wilkes April 30, 2009 at 3:05 pm #

    sjt
    ““Genetic manipulations perhaps?” Oh yeah, Eugenics will save us all.”

    Oh God here we go again, it was a rhetorical question, put sarcastically.

    Whatever, carry on regardless you always do anyway.

  136. cohenite April 30, 2009 at 3:24 pm #

    eric; Milankovitch cycles never caused the Holocene Optimum;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=233

    Fig 7.1 from the 1990 Assessment report makes it obvious that insolation was the factor with both the HO and MWP as well as the LIA; the HO and MWP were anomalies within the Milankovitch cycle. Show me how CO2 caused the HO or the MWP or the LIA.

    As for your nonsense about Co2 being the driver and dismissing Lansner, well, ok, explain this;

    http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww350/infomgr/TempsDriveCO2IceCores.gif

  137. cohenite April 30, 2009 at 3:31 pm #

    “The enlightened have now deemed CO2 a health hazard.” The enlightened have their heads up a dark repository of their anatomy;

    http://www.nzcpr.com/soapbox.htm#RobertC

    As for CO2 being implicated in the extinctions;

    http://www.junkscience.com/images/paleocarbon.gif

  138. SJT April 30, 2009 at 4:17 pm #

    “As for CO2 being implicated in the extinctions;”

    You can always rely on junkscience to beat up a strawman. “Climate Change” causes extinctions, not necessarily CO2. It depends on if it is the forcing behind the climate change or not.

  139. cohenite April 30, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

    luke, you have been throwing around various links and ‘keywords’ like Ezra Pound on turnip juice; this was one of them;

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2009/2009GL037524.shtml

    How does this stack with Steig et al and the fact O3 appears to be cordinated with CR flux?

  140. PeterW April 30, 2009 at 5:31 pm #

    Lukey boy, as the “Mottsian school of deportment and diplomacy” is your own construct it is apparent to all that your petulant sneering posts are in essence colostomies through which you expose your syphilitic soul.

  141. Luke April 30, 2009 at 6:36 pm #

    Alas Petey Ponce – mate – the Ian Mott school does exist – you should check the archives mate. BUt only one of many who have called us turds.

    Cohers – well that CR fux is a problem then. Mate I don’t know if Steig et al stacks up -it’s only one paper – one analysis. Does it matter?

  142. Sybil April 30, 2009 at 10:04 pm #

    “The enlightened have now deemed CO2 a health hazard.” The enlightened have their heads up a dark repository of their anatomy;”

    Junkscience Cohenite?

    The Junk Science Page is not about junk science so much as it is about anything which does not support a conservative or libertarian political agenda for businesses and industries that do not like regulations that limit their ability to pollute or poison us or our environment. Steven J Milloy, “administrative contact” uses the term ‘junk science’ mainly as a political and polemical term. What the majority of scientists call sound science, Milloy usually calls junk science. And what he calls ‘sound science’, the majority of scientists usually call junk science.

    “Steven J. Milloy is a columnist for Fox News and a paid advocate for Phillip Morris, ExxonMobil and other corporations. From the 1990s until the end of 2005, he was an adjunct scholar at the libertarian think tank the Cato Institute.”

    http://www.sourcewatch.org/index.php?title=Steven_J._Milloy

    Off you go now Cohenite – into the dummies’ corner – tosser!

  143. hunter April 30, 2009 at 10:37 pm #

    Yankee,
    So the ‘enlightened’ know all? The ‘know’ CO2 is a dangerous gas?
    BS.
    Show the toxicology reports, idiot.
    The rest of your spew only underlines my points:
    1) There are real toxins that could be addressed, but are not due to the neurotic ‘enlightened’ one’s obsession on CO2.
    2) You AGW true believers have not had actual critical thinking regarding climate in yours.

    SJT,
    Are you truly as brain dead as your inability to deal with thefact of past CO2 levels other than by ignoring them seems to indicate?
    Well, that was a trick question.

  144. PeterW April 30, 2009 at 10:46 pm #

    Luke says: ” …the Ian Mott school does exist …”

    Of deportment etc?

    No Lukey boy it’s a construct of your febrile mind.

    Time to give up your manic copying and pasting and concentrate on your personal wellness plan.

  145. eric adler April 30, 2009 at 11:26 pm #

    Comment from: Johnathan Wilkes April 30th, 2009 at 1:43 pm


    sjt
    “there has never been a previous time in the earths history when there were 6billion humans on it pumping out CO2 at such a rate”

    There was a lot more CO2 in the atmosphere in the past than is today. The temperatures were both higher and lower in the past before humans even existed, and so were the levels of CO2, even you cannot deny it.

    I haven’t seen any denials that temperatures on the planet varied in past times, or that CO2 varied. In fact, at the close of the Permian era 250M ybp, CO2 emissions from volcanoes in Siberia lead to climate change which caused extinction of 95% of species on the planet.

    With 6B people on the planet and growing, the consequences of rapid climate change can be extremely grave when heavily populated regions of the planet are no longer habitable.

    Anyway, what is so special about the human produced CO2? Is it in some way different?
    This is a pretty stupid question.
    All CO2 molecules behave the same. The new industrial sources of emission are simply responsible for increasing the CO2 in the atmosphere. This is understood by scientists to result in a reduction of escape of thermal energy from the earth. This understanding is 150 years old, but despite this, there are some “flat earth” types who don’t accept this scientific truth.

    You are writing this sort of junk along with meaningless platitudes, and yet you are surprised when people try tell you to cut the BS?
    Amazing!

    What is amazing is your display of opinionated ignorance in making such pejorative comments . You are unaware of how little you understand.

  146. eric adler April 30, 2009 at 11:53 pm #

    Comment from: cohenite April 30th, 2009 at 3:24 pm

    eric; Milankovitch cycles never caused the Holocene Optimum;

    http://www.climateaudit.org/?p=233

    Fig 7.1 from the 1990 Assessment report makes it obvious that insolation was the factor with both the HO and MWP as well as the LIA; the HO and MWP were anomalies within the Milankovitch cycle. Show me how CO2 caused the HO or the MWP or the LIA.
    The Holocene optimum occurred at different times in different places. nIt started in the southern hemipsphere. The interglacial period which began about we are experiencing today was kicked off by in increase in solar energy due to the Malinkovitch cycle.

    The greenhouse effect – how increased CO2 causes temperature rise

    When there’s more CO2 in the atmosphere, the earth absorbs more heat. Shortwave radiation from the sun passes straight through our atmosphere and is absorbed by the earth. The earth reemits it as longwave (infrared) radiation which is partially absorbed by atmospheric CO2. This is the greenhouse effect. CO2 lets energy in, doesn’t let as much get out. the link you provided in a previous post explains the process:

    http://www.skepticalscience.com/co2-lags-temperature.htm
    CO2 warming explains how the relatively weak forcing from Milankovitch cycles can bring the planet out of an ice age. It begins with the high southern latitudes (eg – Antarctica) warming and releasing CO2 from the oceans. The CO2 mixes through the atmosphere, amplifying and spreading the warming to northern latitudes (Cuffey 2001). This is why warming in the southern hemisphere precedes warming in the northern hemisphere (Caillon 2003). This is confirmed by marine cores that show tropical temperatures lag southern warming by ~1000 years (Stott 2007).

    As for your nonsense about Co2 being the driver and dismissing Lansner, well, ok, explain this;

    http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww350/infomgr/TempsDriveCO2IceCores.gif

    The link I quoted from already did. Apparently you don’t read well.

  147. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 2:05 am #

    eric adler April 30th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Quite reluctant to come in, too much mud slinging here…

    About CO2 as feedback during the glacial/interglacial transition: this is mainly one-way. The above link says:

    “What the science says…
    The CO2 record confirms both the amplifying effect of atmospheric CO2 and how sensitive climate is to change.”

    That is not true. There is a clear influence of temperature on CO2 levels, but there is no clear link for a CO2 effect on temperature: at the end of the Eemian (the previous interglacial) temperature (and methane levels) decreased to a minimum and ice sheets increased to a maximum, while the CO2 levels remained high. The subsequent drop in CO2 levels of 40 ppmv didn’t show a measurable effect on temperature… See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

    A similar situation for the last deglaciation: no measurable help of CO2 in the temperature increase: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/epica5.gif
    (with thanks to André van den Berg who made the graph).

  148. Luke May 1, 2009 at 4:00 am #

    Ferdinand

    You have not taken into account what the sum total of reduced insolation and large change in albedo from widespread ice sheets mean for energy balance, including magnitude of the greenhouse effect.

    I can’t see how you can easily get there without modelling. At least you need to make a formal calculation.

    In a few experiments published it has been reported that with CO2 variable but insolation constant there is no possibility to simulate the glacial-interglacial cycles. With insolation variable and CO2 constant we can simulate glacial-interglacial cycles but only if CO2 is low.

    Berger et al. 1993 Phil Trans Royal Soc London B341 253-261 for quantifying the role of CO2, water vapour and ice sheets on the climate of the Last Glacial maximum.

    Berger, A., and M. F. Loutre, Long-term variations in insolation and their effects on climate, the LLN experiments, Surveys in Geophysics, 18 (2-3), 147-161, 1997.

    Berger, A., M. F. Loutre, and H. Gallee, Sensitivity of the LLN climate model to the astronomical and CO2 forcings over the last 200 ky, Climate Dynamics, 14 (9), 615-629, 1998.

    http://www.agu.org/pubs/crossref/2000/1999GL006081.shtml

  149. eric adler May 1, 2009 at 4:17 am #

    Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1st, 2009 at 2:05 am

    eric adler April 30th, 2009 at 11:53 pm

    Quite reluctant to come in, too much mud slinging here…

    About CO2 as feedback during the glacial/interglacial transition: this is mainly one-way. The above link says:

    “What the science says…
    The CO2 record confirms both the amplifying effect of atmospheric CO2 and how sensitive climate is to change.”

    That is not true. There is a clear influence of temperature on CO2 levels, but there is no clear link for a CO2 effect on temperature: at the end of the Eemian (the previous interglacial) temperature (and methane levels) decreased to a minimum and ice sheets increased to a maximum, while the CO2 levels remained high. The subsequent drop in CO2 levels of 40 ppmv didn’t show a measurable effect on temperature… See:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/eemian.html

    A similar situation for the last deglaciation: no measurable help of CO2 in the temperature increase: http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/epica5.gif
    (with thanks to André van den Berg who made the graph).

    Hi Ferdinand. I am glad you weighed in. Your point of view is often helpful.

    Looking at your links, I see you are using the same sorts of graphs, and attempts at simple correlation, as Cohenite has produced. It leaves out the factors of insolation, and albedo which are known to affect climate, as well as the greenhouse effect. You are using these to refute results that have been obtained by a more sophisticated technique, the use of GCM’s. The models may not be perfect, but I don’t see how a method, that leaves out these important effects, can be valid.

    If you have an explanation for why it is right to do that, please give it, because I haven’t seen one yet.

  150. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 5:31 am #

    Luke May 1st, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Ferdinand

    “You have not taken into account what the sum total of reduced insolation and large change in albedo from widespread ice sheets mean for energy balance, including magnitude of the greenhouse effect.

    I can’t see how you can easily get there without modelling. At least you need to make a formal calculation.”

    Indeed, but there start the problem with the current models: they started (with James Hansen as first) with the change in insolation/latitudonal insolation and the large change in albedo caused by the increase/decrease of ice sheets and the adjacent feedbacks of water vapor/cloud cover. That was not sufficient, according to Hansen, to explain the observed change in temperature. The difference thus is caused by GHGs and the resulting calculated sensitivity of climate for 2xCO2 is about 3°C/2xCO2.

    But there are some problems with this reasoning: there are a lot of assumptions involved:
    – no real change in TOA solar strength in these periods.
    – no real change in cloud cover, beyond the current estimates in the models.
    – a realistic estimate of the ice albedo changes.
    – a realistic estimate of the aerosol/dust impacts.

    Each of these points have a lot of questions: TOA has only indirect proxies: 14C (only for the past 60,000 years) and 10Be. The latter shows a lot of variation in ice cores between a glacial and an interglacial, but a large part (if not all) of it is due to the change in snow precipitation over such transition. I haven’t seen the 10Be levels corrected for the layer thickness at Vostok.

    There is no direct or indirect indication of cloud cover of that time. And current models are out of reality for cloud cover in the tropics and in the Arctic:
    http://www.nerc-essc.ac.uk/~rpa/PAPERS/olr_grl.pdf and
    http://www.cicero.uio.no/fulltext/index_e.aspx?id=3277
    From the latter:
    “There is a significant deviation between the models when it comes to cloud cover, and even though the average between the models closely resembles the observed average on an annual basis, the seasonal variation is inaccurate: the models overestimate the cloud cover in the winter and underestimate it in the summer.”
    As 1% difference in cloud cover has about the same effect as 100 ppmv (past or current) CO2 change, one can question the validity of the models, if only on this ground…

    Ice cover is mainly from a proxy: the 18O/16O ratio in N2O, but current N2O levels have hardly any resemblance to the historical ones, so the correlation with ice cover (and thus albedo) is lost and the historical ratio is just an estimate…

    Aerosols/dust is another poorly understood item in models and reality: most aerosols are natural, underestimated in models, while human induced aerosols are overestimated in effect.

    Thus that current models can fit the historical temperature trends is just a necessary but insufficient condition for models to be of value. But that doesn’t say anything about the real influence of 2xCO2 on temperature. All we can say is that a drop of 40 ppmv CO2 has no measurable effect on temperature within the accuracy of the ice cores, while there should be a measurable effect: with 3°C/2xCO2 the effect should be around 0.4°C.

    That doesn’t prove that there is no effect at all, but the effect is probably smaller than the lower border of the IPCC range…

  151. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 6:07 am #

    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 4:17 am

    “You are using these to refute results that have been obtained by a more sophisticated technique, the use of GCM’s. The models may not be perfect, but I don’t see how a method, that leaves out these important effects, can be valid.

    If you have an explanation for why it is right to do that, please give it, because I haven’t seen one yet.”

    Eric, my background is in chemical engineering, later process automation, including the use of multivariable modeling for the steering of more or less known physical/chemical processes. I know how difficult it is to have simple known physics like pressure and temperature modeled like these behave in reality…

    According to Jim Hansen, the influence of CO2 changes accounts for about 40% of the temperature change during glacial/interglacial transitions. For the LGM-Holocene transition, all we see is that there is a clear influence of temperature on CO2 levels, with a lag. But there is no clear influence of CO2 on temperature, with or without lag, nor spread over time. To the contrary, all other influences like insolation/albedo changes and resulting temperature changes work completely independent of CO2 changes and CO2 only follows – to a large extent – the temperature changes.

    If there was a real 40% increase in forcing due to increasing CO2 levels, the few times that CO2 increases markedly after temperature changes, that should lead to an immediate accelleration of the temperature increase: The main effect of increased CO2 (on the oceans) is within 30 years, hardly a blip in the 10,000 years transition… But there is really nothing of that sort.

    You don’t have to believe me, but I have seen hundreds of feedback processes (including a few runaway one’s!), thus I know how a (positive) feedback looks alike. If there is any feedback from CO2 on temperature, it can only be a minor one.

    BTW, the graph of the LGM-Holocene transition is from the Dome C ice core, with modern techniques quite an excellent resolution…

  152. eric adler May 1, 2009 at 7:16 am #

    Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1st, 2009 at 5:31 am

    Luke May 1st, 2009 at 4:00 am

    Ferdinand

    “You have not taken into account what the sum total of reduced insolation and large change in albedo from widespread ice sheets mean for energy balance, including magnitude of the greenhouse effect.

    I can’t see how you can easily get there without modelling. At least you need to make a formal calculation.”

    Indeed, but there start the problem with the current models: they started (with James Hansen as first) with the change in insolation/latitudonal insolation and the large change in albedo caused by the increase/decrease of ice sheets and the adjacent feedbacks of water vapor/cloud cover. That was not sufficient, according to Hansen, to explain the observed change in temperature. The difference thus is caused by GHGs and the resulting calculated sensitivity of climate for 2xCO2 is about 3°C/2xCO2.

    http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/downloads/Challenge_chapter2.pdf

    The reasoning is precisely the opposite. The models for climate sensitivity are discussed first, and then applied to paleoclimatology of the ice ages.

    But there are some problems with this reasoning: there are a lot of assumptions involved:
    – no real change in TOA solar strength in these periods.
    – no real change in cloud cover, beyond the current estimates in the models.
    – a realistic estimate of the ice albedo changes.
    – a realistic estimate of the aerosol/dust impacts.

    Each of these points have a lot of questions: TOA has only indirect proxies: 14C (only for the past 60,000 years) and 10Be. The latter shows a lot of variation in ice cores between a glacial and an interglacial, but a large part (if not all) of it is due to the change in snow precipitation over such transition. I haven’t seen the 10Be levels corrected for the layer thickness at Vostok.

    There is no direct or indirect indication of cloud cover of that time. And current models are out of reality for cloud cover in the tropics and in the Arctic:
    http://www.nerc-essc.ac.uk/~rpa/PAPERS/olr_grl.pdf and
    http://www.cicero.uio.no/fulltext/index_e.aspx?id=3277
    From the latter:
    “There is a significant deviation between the models when it comes to cloud cover, and even though the average between the models closely resembles the observed average on an annual basis, the seasonal variation is inaccurate: the models overestimate the cloud cover in the winter and underestimate it in the summer.”
    As 1% difference in cloud cover has about the same effect as 100 ppmv (past or current) CO2 change, one can question the validity of the models, if only on this ground…

    Ice cover is mainly from a proxy: the 18O/16O ratio in N2O, but current N2O levels have hardly any resemblance to the historical ones, so the correlation with ice cover (and thus albedo) is lost and the historical ratio is just an estimate…

    Aerosols/dust is another poorly understood item in models and reality: most aerosols are natural, underestimated in models, while human induced aerosols are overestimated in effect.

    Thus that current models can fit the historical temperature trends is just a necessary but insufficient condition for models to be of value. But that doesn’t say anything about the real influence of 2xCO2 on temperature. All we can say is that a drop of 40 ppmv CO2 has no measurable effect on temperature within the accuracy of the ice cores, while there should be a measurable effect: with 3°C/2xCO2 the effect should be around 0.4°C.

    That doesn’t prove that there is no effect at all, but the effect is probably smaller than the lower border of the IPCC range…

    I can appreciate the arguments about the magnitude of climate sensitivity to CO2, and the other differences you have regarding the parameters in the climate models. Whether you are correct or not, I can’t say, but it least it is not an illogical and specious argument.

    Of course, it is not clear to me that after all the cavils about clouds, dust and albedo, that you have a good explanation of what happened to the climate of earth during the ice ages. Hansen and the overwhelming majority of climate scientists who accept a climate sensitivity of 3+/-1.5C
    have a lot of data on their side. The effect of CO2 by itself is agreed upon as about 1C. The positive feedback due to WV has been established by recent analysis of satellite measurements by Dessler. While there remains a lot to do on aerosals, and clouds, there is a lot of science behind the generally accepted range of climate sensitivity.

    It does seem that you have abandoned making an argument against the GHE on the basis of time lag between temperature and CO2 on a simplistic graph, while ignoring the effects of insolation due to orbital and axial changes, and albedo, as well as the time it takes to mix the ocean water to expel the CO2. You apparently realize that on a scientific basis, this argument is a non starter, but only after it was challenged.

  153. Luke May 1, 2009 at 8:35 am #

    So the ice age transitions are complex episodes IMO. So many interdsting factors that hard to make a clear argument for CO2 feedback forcing without some modelling.

    Therefore are not the PETM and Deccan Traps more relevant examples of a sudden release of CO2 into the atmosphere?

    On other paleo evidence Dana Royer using GEOCARBSULF put climate sensitivity at at least 1.5C over 420Myr ( http://www.essc.psu.edu/essc_web/seminars/spring2007/RoyeretalNature07.pdf )

    With closer to 2.8C the best fit. (Cohers – Steve Short would be critical)

  154. Louis Hissink May 1, 2009 at 8:47 am #

    It seems there is much rhetoric over whether climate sensitivity has been experimentally verified – well it has- it has been comprehensively falsified by observation.

    That there is debate about this simply means the debaters haven’t experience with empirical science.

    It’s like drill testing a mineral exploration prospect – the target has been indentified, and a hole drilled into it. Negative result therefore hypothesis falsified.

    AGW? Hypothesis is that doubling CO2 causes so and so rise in surface temperature. Immediate answer from observation? Temperature drops but CO2 continues to rise. Hypothesis falsified.

    Those who cannot accept the obious then start introducing special conditions, or mount arguments that not enough time has elapsed, etc etc.

    There is no need for computer modelling to test the Climate Sensitivity hypothesis – the test is there staring at you as physical reality.

    Of course if you wish to ignore the Plasma model, then you also have the wrong physics to explain climate, and little wonder that so much argument over details occur here.

  155. eric adler May 1, 2009 at 9:44 am #

    Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1st, 2009 at 6:07 am

    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 4:17 am

    “You are using these to refute results that have been obtained by a more sophisticated technique, the use of GCM’s. The models may not be perfect, but I don’t see how a method, that leaves out these important effects, can be valid.

    If you have an explanation for why it is right to do that, please give it, because I haven’t seen one yet.”

    Eric, my background is in chemical engineering, later process automation, including the use of multivariable modeling for the steering of more or less known physical/chemical processes. I know how difficult it is to have simple known physics like pressure and temperature modeled like these behave in reality…

    According to Jim Hansen, the influence of CO2 changes accounts for about 40% of the temperature change during glacial/interglacial transitions. For the LGM-Holocene transition, all we see is that there is a clear influence of temperature on CO2 levels, with a lag. But there is no clear influence of CO2 on temperature, with or without lag, nor spread over time. To the contrary, all other influences like insolation/albedo changes and resulting temperature changes work completely independent of CO2 changes and CO2 only follows – to a large extent – the temperature changes.

    If there was a real 40% increase in forcing due to increasing CO2 levels, the few times that CO2 increases markedly after temperature changes, that should lead to an immediate accelleration of the temperature increase: The main effect of increased CO2 (on the oceans) is within 30 years, hardly a blip in the 10,000 years transition… But there is really nothing of that sort.

    You don’t have to believe me, but I have seen hundreds of feedback processes (including a few runaway one’s!), thus I know how a (positive) feedback looks alike. If there is any feedback from CO2 on temperature, it can only be a minor one.

    BTW, the graph of the LGM-Holocene transition is from the Dome C ice core, with modern techniques quite an excellent resolution…

    Your argument is unconvincing. It assumes that there will be a quick surge of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that would quickly be mirrored in a noticeable surge in temperature. There is no reason for that to be the case.

    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_etal_2.pdf

    “..Figure 1a reveals remarkable correspondence of Vostok temperature and
    global GHG climate forcing. The temperature change appears to usually lead the
    gas changes by typically several hundred years, as discussed below and indicated
    in figure 1b. This suggests that warming climate causes a net release of these
    GHGs by the ocean, soils and biosphere. GHGs are thus a powerful amplifier of
    climate change, comparable to the surface albedo feedback, as quantified below.
    The GHGs, because they change almost simultaneously with the climate, are a
    major ‘cause’ of glacial-to-interglacial climate change, as shown below, even if, as
    seems likely, they slightly lag the climate change and thus are not the initial
    instigator of change.
    The temperature–GHG lag is imprecise because the time required for snow to
    pile high enough (approx. 100 m) to seal off air bubbles is typically a few
    thousand years in central Antarctica. The estimated age difference between ice
    and its air bubbles is accounted for in the time-scale of figure 1, which refers to
    the ice age. Despite multiple careful studies, uncertainties in the ice–gas age
    differences for the Vostok ice core remain of the order of 1 kyr (Bender et al.
    2006). Therefore, we can only say with certainty that the temperature and gas
    changes are nearly synchronous…”

    Hansen also points out that the glacial ice sheet extent driven changes in albedo should be related to sea level changes, and they are as shown in Fig 2 in the above link, which also shows how well the calculated temperature and measured temperatures agree.

  156. eric adler May 1, 2009 at 9:56 am #

    Comment from: Louis Hissink May 1st, 2009 at 8:47 am


    It seems there is much rhetoric over whether climate sensitivity has been experimentally verified – well it has- it has been comprehensively falsified by observation.

    That there is debate about this simply means the debaters haven’t experience with empirical science.

    It’s like drill testing a mineral exploration prospect – the target has been indentified, and a hole drilled into it. Negative result therefore hypothesis falsified.

    AGW? Hypothesis is that doubling CO2 causes so and so rise in surface temperature. Immediate answer from observation? Temperature drops but CO2 continues to rise. Hypothesis falsified.

    Those who cannot accept the obious then start introducing special conditions, or mount arguments that not enough time has elapsed, etc etc.

    There is no need for computer modelling to test the Climate Sensitivity hypothesis – the test is there staring at you as physical reality.

    The fluctuation in decadal temperature trends due to noise is going to overwhelm the .2C/decade
    trend due to GHG’s during some periods of time. That is a predictable outcome based on the noise level that exists in the climate record.

    http://tamino.wordpress.com/2008/09/12/dont-get-fooled-again/

    Whatever opinion you have, and personal experience you may have to back it up, does not contradict that fact of life. Your argument is false

    Of course if you wish to ignore the Plasma model, then you also have the wrong physics to explain climate, and little wonder that so much argument over details occur here.

    What is “the Plasma mode”. Is that the one that says the sun is made of iron?

  157. cohenite May 1, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    AR4, p132 is very clear about not being very clear about water forcing especially clouds; actually the forcing from clouds is much greater than from ghgs;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/

    This ios confirmed by paleo studies;

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002914.html

    The albedo of clouds is a much greater forcer than the albedo of ice and the significance of the Kump and Pollard paper is that it knocks Dessler [even if he were correct in his modelling of an increase in SH, which he isn’t] and the rest of the EGH based on increased water = +ve feedback to the eyeballs crowd for dead; to spell it out for eric who can be very tunnel-visioned: less clouds = less wv = hot; how does that tally with the concept of the EGH which is based on more wv = hot?

  158. cohenite May 1, 2009 at 11:30 am #

    As for Hansen and the 3C sensitivity to a doubling of CO2; our lord and master is a bit dogs breakfast about climate sensitivity;

    http://users.tpg.com.au/johnsay1/Stuff/HANSEN.jpg

    Hansen’s estimates keep going down; as to why his estimates are declining, there is a good worldclimatereport on it but it may be a tad too cynical for the shrinking violets and Hansen groupies shuffling around in the back stalls so I won’t link; suffice to say the 3C notion is a farrago;

    http://jennifermarohasy.com/blog/2008/10/temperature-trends-and-carbon-dioxide-a-note-from-cohenite/

  159. Johnathan Wilkes May 1, 2009 at 11:45 am #

    eric adler April 30th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    What?
    Are you batting for sjt now? Last I heard he can speak for himself.
    ‘——————————–
    “CO2 emissions from volcanoes in Siberia lead to climate change which caused extinction of 95% of species on the planet.”

    So? My point exactly, we had nothing to do with it.
    ‘——————————
    “With 6B people on the planet and growing, the consequences of RAPID climate change can be extremely grave when heavily populated regions of the planet are no longer habitable.”

    Prove RAPID sunshine, or substantial even! Computer models don’t count! We are talking about a less than a degree of temp. change over a century!

    ‘————————-
    “Anyway, what is so special about the human produced CO2? Is it in some way different?
    This is a pretty stupid question.”

    Why did he make a special point of it then?
    ‘—————————-

    “You are unaware of how little you understand.”

    You sir, know jacksh.. about me or what I understand.

    I readily admit my training is in a different field, not in climate science, (structural engineer) but have enough knowledge to detect BS when I see it. I’m very interested in the topic but at least I know my limitations and keep out commenting on details I know nothing about.
    Unlike some on this blog I’m sorry to say.

  160. Johnathan Wilkes May 1, 2009 at 12:49 pm #

    eric adler April 30th, 2009 at 11:26 pm

    What?
    Are you batting for sjt now? Last I heard he can speak for himself.
    ‘——————————–
    “CO2 emissions from volcanoes in Siberia lead to climate change which caused extinction of 95% of species on the planet.”

    So? My point exactly, we had nothing to do with it.
    ‘——————————
    “With 6B people on the planet and growing, the consequences of RAPID climate change can be extremely grave when heavily populated regions of the planet are no longer habitable.”

    Prove RAPID sunshine, or substantial even! Computer models don’t count! We are talking about a less than a degree of temp. change over a century!

    ‘————————-
    “Anyway, what is so special about the human produced CO2? Is it in some way different?
    This is a pretty stupid question.”

    Why did he make a special point of it then?
    ‘—————————-

    “You are unaware of how little you understand.”

    You sir, know jacksh.. about me or what I understand.

    I readily admit my training is in a different field, not in climate science, (structural engineer) but have enough knowledge to detect BS when I see it. I’m very interested in the topic but at least I know my limitations and keep out commenting on details I know nothing about.
    Unlike some on this blog I’m sorry to say.e me, you know nothing about my beliefs and assuming knowledge is not fact.

  161. cohenite May 1, 2009 at 12:53 pm #

    Correction; the Kump and Pollard model of less clouds doesn’t necessarily mean less wv; merely the form the water vapor takes; the point being simply saying an increase in wv = hot ain’t necessarily so; it depends on the form of the wv and as Miskolczi shows where that wv is, high or low.

  162. SJT May 1, 2009 at 2:54 pm #

    “Are you batting for sjt now? Last I heard he can speak for himself.”

    Eric knows a lot more about this than myself, so far he has been spot on about everything I have read that he has written here.

  163. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 7:56 pm #

    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 9:44 am

    “http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/downloads/Challenge_chapter2.pdf

    The reasoning is precisely the opposite. The models for climate sensitivity are discussed first, and then applied to paleoclimatology of the ice ages.”

    In an older work, Hansen says the opposite. Never mind, it is some chicken-and-egg problem…
    Anyway, climate sensitivity is what is incorporated as parameter in the models, it is not what the models predict!

    And there is little doubt about the lag of CO2 after temperature changes: in the Vostok ice core (see my link of the end of the Eemian), methane follows temperature changes immediately, while CO2 stays high for about 10,000 years… Both CH4 and CO2 are measured in the gas phase, thus errors in the dating method don’t play a role.

    “The effect of CO2 by itself is agreed upon as about 1C. The positive feedback due to WV has been established by recent analysis of satellite measurements by Dessler. While there remains a lot to do on aerosals, and clouds, there is a lot of science behind the generally accepted range of climate sensitivity.”

    Based on absorption spectra (Modtran) the basic effect of 2xCO2 is about 0.9°C. Including water vapor feedback about 1.3°C. All the rest of the 1.5-4.5°C/2xCO2 is based on very uncertain feedbacks, all positive according to the models.

    The main difference in outcome of the models and the wide range (1:3) of the IPCC estimates is in cloud cover, which is always seen as (widely different) positive feedback, while in general clouds are considered as a negative feedback. Same problem with aerosols: except for black soot, as total effect seen as a huge negative feedback (to explain the 1945-1975 cooling), while the effect probably is much lower and even the sign (brown cloud over SE Asia) may be opposite…

    I have followed a one day course at Oxford about climate modelling to know more about the possibilities of modelling. Very interesting and including a simple EBM (energy balance) model on an Excel sheet, where one could change the relative effect of the different forcings. Current models assume that 1 W/m2 change in insolation has the same effect as a change of 1 W/m2 CO2 forcing. That is quite certainly not true. The main proven effect of solar is in the tropics and the stratosphere: temperature, ozone layer, shift of the jet stream positions, cloud/rain patterns… And in the oceans: visible light penetrates (and heats) several meters of the upper layer. CO2 IR backradiation effect is more spread over the latitudes and only affects the upper skin of the oceans with a fraction of a mm (evaporation, backradiation)…
    Anyway, current models underestimate the effect of solar (and other natural factors) and thus overestimate the influence of GHGs:
    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/StottEtAl.pdf

    The other main problem, aerosols are important too: GHG effectivity and aerosol effect are thightly connected, because one needed aerosols to explain the 1945-1975 cooling with increasing CO2 levels… If aerosols have little effect, then CO2 has little effect too, and reverse. RC has a nice graph showing the effect:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=168
    I had a lot of comment on aerosols there at:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=245#comment-8849
    without any reaction of the specialists on board of the article… Seems to be the shortest comments ever at RC…

    As the temperature profile of the past century must be obeyed by all models, the performance to “predict” the past by a model is a good indication. It seems that the simple models (like the above EBM model) perform better than the multi-million dollar GCM’s… Thus what I have done is testing the EBM model with far less influence of aerosols and “tuning” the effect of CO2 down to a adjust for the temperature profile, see:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/oxford.html
    One can halve the sensitivity for 2xCO2, with the same effect on temperature… As we see now a similar flat trend in the past decade as in the period 1945-1975, both with a negative PDO, it looks like that the effect of the neagtive PDO was responsible for the previous cooler period (and much of the 1976-1998 warming), not aerosols…

    “It does seem that you have abandoned making an argument against the GHE on the basis of time lag between temperature and CO2 on a simplistic graph, while ignoring the effects of insolation due to orbital and axial changes, and albedo, as well as the time it takes to mix the ocean water to expel the CO2. You apparently realize that on a scientific basis, this argument is a non starter, but only after it was challenged.”

    I never said that there is no GHE, and I am sure that a lag doesn’t prove that there is no feeedback at work. I only observ that while insolation and albedo (and ocean currents,…) have a direct influence on temperature, and the effect of temperature on CO2 levels is clear, the effect of a change in CO2 levels on temperature is not visible and not measurable…

  164. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 8:08 pm #

    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 9:44 am

    “Your argument is unconvincing. It assumes that there will be a quick surge of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that would quickly be mirrored in a noticeable surge in temperature. There is no reason for that to be the case.”

    The effect of a surge of CO2 (even a minor one) is immediate in the atmosphere and takes about 30 year for the bulk of the increase (oceans). Other ones like ice sheets / vegetation area/albedo need more time, but in the case of the LGM-Holocene transition, that amount of time was more than sufficient to see an effect, if CO2 is responsible for 40% of the increase in temperature. But there is no measurable effect with or without lag, with or without spreading of the accelleration over the years…

  165. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 8:23 pm #

    Luke May 1st, 2009 at 8:35 am

    “Therefore are not the PETM and Deccan Traps more relevant examples of a sudden release of CO2 into the atmosphere?

    On other paleo evidence Dana Royer using GEOCARBSULF put climate sensitivity at at least 1.5C over 420Myr”

    The farther the data from the past, the more unsure the data are… The PETM looks like more a methane outburst, quite a different GHG than CO2. At last, CH4 will be oxydised to CO2 and water, but that happens mainly near the stratosphere-troposphere border, where water vapor normally is very low. The Deccan traps released a lot of CO2, may be a better bet, but still the timing and effect (low CO2 and high temperatures and reverse) is quite problematic over the full 420,000 years…

  166. Luke May 1, 2009 at 9:27 pm #

    But nevertheless – an event(s) lasting 20,000 years, 6C blip in temperatures. And a rate of carbon being added to the atmosphere similar to today?

  167. cohenite May 1, 2009 at 11:22 pm #

    Aw, come on, McClean is a bit of a kook; what ever happened at the K-T boundary happened quickly; the Deccan Traps eruption is figured to be about 30 times the intensity of the Hawaiian eruptions, but over a 1 million year time span; for the volcanic eruptions to have caused the K-T event they would have had to have happened over a century or 2 and the necessary intensity would have blown the planet apart; no-one doubts there were some major volcanic activity but the huge asteroid strike is indisputable and 2 or 3 consequent atmospheric winters would have done the trick bearing in mind that the K-T event was preceded by gradual but still pronounced global cooling which already had placed the biosphere under stress. To say the K-T is evidence of CO2 caused AGW like effects is to say Krakatoa was a fire-cracker.

  168. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1, 2009 at 11:32 pm #

    Luke May 1st, 2009 at 9:27 pm

    “But nevertheless – an event(s) lasting 20,000 years, 6C blip in temperatures. And a rate of carbon being added to the atmosphere similar to today?”

    From:
    http://dml.cmnh.org/2005Aug/msg00210.html

    “This is enough to have possibly released a climate-altering amount of sulfur gases, says Chenet. An estimate of just how much gas is still being worked out.”

    They blame the extinction of the dinosours on sulfur, cooling the atmosphere and poisoning the air and oceans (with the help of the Mexican meteor impact)… Quite different from CO2 warming everything…

    Thus the real impact of CO2 (quite high in the Cretaceous) on temperature (quite high too) (and reverse) is far from settled. In general the Cretaceous showed abundant vegetation (all our coal is from that time) and animal life…

  169. eric adler May 1, 2009 at 11:52 pm #

    Comment from: cohenite May 1st, 2009 at 11:22 am


    AR4, p132 is very clear about not being very clear about water forcing especially clouds; actually the forcing from clouds is much greater than from ghgs;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2007/10/17/

    This ios confirmed by paleo studies;

    http://www.jennifermarohasy.com/blog/archives/002914.html

    The albedo of clouds is a much greater forcer than the albedo of ice and the significance of the Kump and Pollard paper is that it knocks Dessler [even if he were correct in his modelling of an increase in SH, which he isn’t] and the rest of the EGH based on increased water = +ve feedback to the eyeballs crowd for dead; to spell it out for eric who can be very tunnel-visioned: less clouds = less wv = hot; how does that tally with the concept of the EGH which is based on more wv = hot?
    I think you are confusing feedback with forcing. Albedo changes due to cloud variation is in general a feedback mechanism not a forcing mechanism except when related to aerosals produced by human industry.

    The earthshine project is highly interesting. Its data seems to agree with the satellite data on the earths albedo on the NASA web site:

    http://isccp.giss.nasa.gov/zFD/an9090_SWup_toa.gif

    There are many different treatments of clouds in GCM’s and a steady improvement over the years. It certainly is a weakness of GCM’s. Here is a review that discusses the nature of the improvements.

    http://aerosols.ucsd.edu/classes/sio217a/GroupBfinalversion.pdf

  170. eric adler May 1, 2009 at 11:57 pm #

    Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1st, 2009 at 8:08 pm

    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 9:44 am

    “Your argument is unconvincing. It assumes that there will be a quick surge of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere that would quickly be mirrored in a noticeable surge in temperature. There is no reason for that to be the case.”

    The effect of a surge of CO2 (even a minor one) is immediate in the atmosphere and takes about 30 year for the bulk of the increase (oceans). Other ones like ice sheets / vegetation area/albedo need more time, but in the case of the LGM-Holocene transition, that amount of time was more than sufficient to see an effect, if CO2 is responsible for 40% of the increase in temperature. But there is no measurable effect with or without lag, with or without spreading of the accelleration over the years…
    What do you mean by no measureable effect? Hansen claims his research shows CO2 is responsible for 40%. What is the basis for your claim?

  171. eric adler May 2, 2009 at 1:15 am #

    Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1st, 2009 at 7:56 pm


    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 9:44 am

    “http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/effects/downloads/Challenge_chapter2.pdf

    The reasoning is precisely the opposite. The models for climate sensitivity are discussed first, and then applied to paleoclimatology of the ice ages.”

    In an older work, Hansen says the opposite. Never mind, it is some chicken-and-egg problem…
    Anyway, climate sensitivity is what is incorporated as parameter in the models, it is not what the models predict!

    And there is little doubt about the lag of CO2 after temperature changes: in the Vostok ice core (see my link of the end of the Eemian), methane follows temperature changes immediately, while CO2 stays high for about 10,000 years… Both CH4 and CO2 are measured in the gas phase, thus errors in the dating method don’t play a role.
    Are you saying that the source of Hansen’s statistical distrubution is thin air?

    “The effect of CO2 by itself is agreed upon as about 1C. The positive feedback due to WV has been established by recent analysis of satellite measurements by Dessler. While there remains a lot to do on aerosals, and clouds, there is a lot of science behind the generally accepted range of climate sensitivity.”

    Based on absorption spectra (Modtran) the basic effect of 2xCO2 is about 0.9°C. Including water vapor feedback about 1.3°C. All the rest of the 1.5-4.5°C/2xCO2 is based on very uncertain feedbacks, all positive according to the models.

    The main difference in outcome of the models and the wide range (1:3) of the IPCC estimates is in cloud cover, which is always seen as (widely different) positive feedback, while in general clouds are considered as a negative feedback. Same problem with aerosols: except for black soot, as total effect seen as a huge negative feedback (to explain the 1945-1975 cooling), while the effect probably is much lower and even the sign (brown cloud over SE Asia) may be opposite…
    The numbers I have from simulations other than Modtran are different. The level of uncertainty is responsible for the range of the simulations quoted by the IPCC.

    I have followed a one day course at Oxford about climate modelling to know more about the possibilities of modelling. Very interesting and including a simple EBM (energy balance) model on an Excel sheet, where one could change the relative effect of the different forcings. Current models assume that 1 W/m2 change in insolation has the same effect as a change of 1 W/m2 CO2 forcing. That is quite certainly not true. The main proven effect of solar is in the tropics and the stratosphere: temperature, ozone layer, shift of the jet stream positions, cloud/rain patterns… And in the oceans: visible light penetrates (and heats) several meters of the upper layer. CO2 IR backradiation effect is more spread over the latitudes and only affects the upper skin of the oceans with a fraction of a mm (evaporation, backradiation)…
    Anyway, current models underestimate the effect of solar (and other natural factors) and thus overestimate the influence of GHGs:
    http://climate.envsci.rutgers.edu/pdf/StottEtAl.pdf

    You may be smart, and a one day course in climate models makes it possible for you to read the literature with some understanding, but it is not the same as 6 years in graduate school to produce a thesis and experience doing real peer reviewed research.

    The abstract of the paper you qoute, says that despite the underestimate, GHG’s are responsible for most of the warming in the last part of the 20th century.

    Current attribution analyses that seek to determine the relative contributions of different forcing agents to
    observed near-surface temperature changes underestimate the importance of weak signals, such as that due to
    changes in solar irradiance. Here a new attribution method is applied that does not have a systematic bias against
    weak signals.
    It is found that current climate models underestimate the observed climate response to solar forcing over the
    twentieth century as a whole, indicating that the climate system has a greater sensitivity to solar forcing than
    do models. The results from this research show that increases in solar irradiance are likely to have had a greater
    influence on global-mean temperatures in the first half of the twentieth century than the combined effects of
    changes in anthropogenic forcings. Nevertheless the results confirm previous analyses showing that greenhouse
    gas increases explain most of the global warming observed in the second half of the twentieth century.

    The other main problem, aerosols are important too: GHG effectivity and aerosol effect are thightly connected, because one needed aerosols to explain the 1945-1975 cooling with increasing CO2 levels… If aerosols have little effect, then CO2 has little effect too, and reverse. RC has a nice graph showing the effect:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=168
    I had a lot of comment on aerosols there at:
    http://www.realclimate.org/index.php?p=245#comment-8849
    without any reaction of the specialists on board of the article… Seems to be the shortest comments ever at RC…

    Quite true, but no human produced aerosals were produced at the end of the last ice age.

    As the temperature profile of the past century must be obeyed by all models, the performance to “predict” the past by a model is a good indication. It seems that the simple models (like the above EBM model) perform better than the multi-million dollar GCM’s… Thus what I have done is testing the EBM model with far less influence of aerosols and “tuning” the effect of CO2 down to a adjust for the temperature profile, see:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/oxford.html
    One can halve the sensitivity for 2xCO2, with the same effect on temperature… As we see now a similar flat trend in the past decade as in the period 1945-1975, both with a negative PDO, it looks like that the effect of the neagtive PDO was responsible for the previous cooler period (and much of the 1976-1998 warming), not aerosols…

    Isn’t this like saying, sea surface temperatures are warmer because the temperature is higher?


    Eric Adler:

    “It does seem that you have abandoned making an argument against the GHE on the basis of time lag between temperature and CO2 on a simplistic graph, while ignoring the effects of insolation due to orbital and axial changes, and albedo, as well as the time it takes to mix the ocean water to expel the CO2. You apparently realize that on a scientific basis, this argument is a non starter, but only after it was challenged.”

    I never said that there is no GHE, and I am sure that a lag doesn’t prove that there is no feeedback at work. I only observ that while insolation and albedo (and ocean currents,…) have a direct influence on temperature, and the effect of temperature on CO2 levels is clear, the effect of a change in CO2 levels on temperature is not visible and not measurable…

    I don’t know what you mean by “visible and measurable”. CO2 is an invisible gas, and IR radiation is not really visible, especially in paleological times. So the effects have to be inferred from physics and modeling, which is what paleoclimatology researchers have to do to explain the results of their proxy measurements.

  172. eric adler May 2, 2009 at 5:12 am #

    Comment from: Ferdinand Engelbeen May 1st, 2009 at 8:23 pm

    Luke May 1st, 2009 at 8:35 am

    “Therefore are not the PETM and Deccan Traps more relevant examples of a sudden release of CO2 into the atmosphere?

    On other paleo evidence Dana Royer using GEOCARBSULF put climate sensitivity at at least 1.5C over 420Myr”

    The farther the data from the past, the more unsure the data are… The PETM looks like more a methane outburst, quite a different GHG than CO2. At last, CH4 will be oxydised to CO2 and water, but that happens mainly near the stratosphere-troposphere border, where water vapor normally is very low. The Deccan traps released a lot of CO2, may be a better bet, but still the timing and effect (low CO2 and high temperatures and reverse) is quite problematic over the full 420,000 years…

    I believe it takes about 11 years for Methane to oxidize to CO2. Not very long in geologic time.
    CO2 is a well mixed gas and ultimately spreads to the troposphere in appropriate proportions.
    In the end it makes little difference which GHG was emitted if the release of gases took place over a long period of time.

  173. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 2, 2009 at 5:23 am #

    eric adler May 1st, 2009 at 11:57 pm

    “What do you mean by no measureable effect? Hansen claims his research shows CO2 is responsible for 40%. What is the basis for your claim?”

    Eric, IF – and only if – CO2 has the effect which Hansen claims, then the effect would be visible (and measurable): in an accelleration of the increase in temperature after a CO2 increase. With or without a lag, sharp or spread. There is no accelleration visible in the graphics, none. To the contrary: temperature and CO2 levels diverge several times where an increase should be seen. I haven’t used the data themselves, but any such huge feedback should be visible in the graph. Here an example of a calculated “feedback” of CO2 on temperature, with only 20% feedback factor and 1.5 periods delay of CO2 after temperature. Just look at what happens with the temperature (without a lag chosen in this case) when CO2 starts to increase:
    http://www.ferdinand-engelbeen.be/klimaat/klim_img/feedback.jpg

    Both temperature and CO2 increase more with a feedback factor of 0.2 than without feedback. But there is an obvious accelleration of temperature when CO2 start to increase. This accelleration completely lacks in the ice core record.

  174. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 2, 2009 at 7:54 am #

    eric adler May 2nd, 2009 at 1:15 am

    “Are you saying that the source of Hansen’s statistical distrubution is thin air?”

    No, but you didn’t notice relevant information: in your link, Hansen says:
    “Data from a different Antarctic (Dome C) ice core with slightly higher snow accumulation rate (Monnin et al. 2001) and an independent analysis based on argon isotopes (Caillon et al. 2003) support temperature leading GHGs by ca 600–800 years.”

    Thus even for Hansen it is clear that temperature leads GHGs with several hundreds of years. That is the case for the glacial – interglacial transition. The oppsoite way it takes several thousands of years for CO2 to follow temperature.

    “The numbers I have from simulations other than Modtran are different. The level of uncertainty is responsible for the range of the simulations quoted by the IPCC.”

    Modtran is not a GCM, it is a model for the line-by-line absorption of water/CO2/CH4 levels in the atmosphere in moderate resolution, based on a similar (military) project at high resolution (Hitran) of laboratory measured absorption bands of the different GHGs. The program calculates the the basic energy absorbed/reflected by GHGs before any further feedback (except water vapor, if allowed to be taken into account), for different latitudes, altitudes and with(out) clouds/rain. You can do the calculations yourself at:
    http://geosci.uchicago.edu/~archer/cgimodels/radiation.html
    The GCM’s go a step further and allow other feedbacks (of high uncertainty) to come in.

    “You may be smart, and a one day course in climate models makes it possible for you to read the literature with some understanding, but it is not the same as 6 years in graduate school to produce a thesis and experience doing real peer reviewed research.

    The abstract of the paper you qoute, says that despite the underestimate, GHG’s are responsible for most of the warming in the last part of the 20th century.”

    I am smart (just kidding)… My strength in real life is/was an analytical mind and a good nose for problem solving: instead of looking at the possibilities, look at the impossibilities to find the cause of a problem. That works often much faster.
    And I read between the lines, where the weak points are hidden. Take the last sentence of the Stott e.a. investigation: this is based on a GCM, including important constraints: a fixed influence of aerosols. Without that, the influence of solar (at the cost of GHGs) might have been much higher in the test.

    That is probably why so many (retired) engineers are sceptics: Engineers are quite upset with GCM’s as there are too many possibilities for adjustment of parameters and too many constraints are present which may give the right result for the wrong reasons…

    About aerosols:
    “Quite true, but no human produced aerosals were produced at the end of the last ice age.”

    No, but natural aerosols are more abundant in the dry cold glacials than in the warm, wet interglacials, thus they may play a (very uncertain) role as (positive) feedback in the (de)glaciations.

    About the PDO:
    “Isn’t this like saying, sea surface temperatures are warmer because the temperature is higher?”

    Depends of what drives what… A positive PDO drives warmer waters to Alaska and the Bering Street up to the Arctic. Thus more Arctic warming and ice melt and higher world average temperatures. A negative PDO gives the opposite trend. Further, precipitation in many regions and storm tracks/counts/strength are influenced. But what drives the PDO? I don’t know…

    “I don’t know what you mean by “visible and measurable”. CO2 is an invisible gas, and IR radiation is not really visible, especially in paleological times. So the effects have to be inferred from physics and modeling, which is what paleoclimatology researchers have to do to explain the results of their proxy measurements.”

    IF CO2 has a huge effect on temperature as alleged by a lot of modellers and their models, then the temperature increase / decrease should accellerate after a substantial change of CO2 levels. That is a very basic process response of any type of process on a (positive) feedback. The lack of such a visible (on the graphs) response is either that CO2 has no effect at all, or small in the general noise of natural variability, or that the effect is countered by other (negative) feedbacks…

  175. Eyrie May 2, 2009 at 7:58 am #

    Louis Hissink,

    O/T but you will find this very interesting I’m sure:

    http://www.aad.gov.au/default.asp?casid=3563

  176. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 2, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    eric adler May 2nd, 2009 at 5:12 am

    “I believe it takes about 11 years for Methane to oxidize to CO2. Not very long in geologic time.
    CO2 is a well mixed gas and ultimately spreads to the troposphere in appropriate proportions.
    In the end it makes little difference which GHG was emitted if the release of gases took place over a long period of time.”

    The 11 year half life time of CH4 is true for current concentrations. But the oxydation capacity is limited to the current amount per year, as that is by hydroxil radicals, which are produced by high energy sunlight (from water vapor). Thus a sudden (as a matter of speaking) outburst of enormous quantities of methane from the Arctic (clathrates) can need thousands of years to break down to water and CO2… Gavin Schmidt (of RC) has (co)written a piece on that.

  177. eric adler May 2, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    Ferdinand,
    Your graph still has only CO2 and temperature. Hansen shows a graph of the estimated forcings, and a graph of the real and calculated temperatures during the ice ages, in figure 2 of the following reference:
    http://pubs.giss.nasa.gov/docs/2007/2007_Hansen_etal_2.pdf
    The albedo forcing was estimated from ice extent, based on sea level measurements, and the GHG forcing from CO2 and Methane. The climate sensitivity figure was .75C/(watt/m2).
    The agreement looks pretty good to me although not perfect.

    Since the original impetus for climate changes was created by the small orbital forcing of 0.25W/M2, it makes the case, climate sensitivity looking at long time scales of centuries can be quite large due to the feedbacks involved.

    Eric

  178. cohenite May 2, 2009 at 9:18 am #

    Ferdinand; eric is getting a bit selective in his responses so I’ll direct this to you; here is a graph extracted from a recent paper by Frank Lansner at WUWT;

    http://i734.photobucket.com/albums/ww350/infomgr/TempsDriveCO2IceCores.gif

    Clearly there is no relationship between Co2 and Temperature, not even a lagging one, would you agree?

    Speaking of PDO;

    http://www.appinsys.com/GlobalWarming/PDO_AMO.htm

    Graphs 3 and 4 down show the relative correlation between Co2 and temp and PDO and temp over the 20thC; clearly CO2 has, beyond the initial LW absorbing role, say up to 100 ppm, no further impact on temperature. Speaking of CO2 I found your recent comments on another thread about the difference between residence and excess amount times fascinating; however in allocating cause for all the excess co2 in the atmosphere to human emissions you seem to have missed a crucial point; as you stated ACO2 is about 8Gt/yr; according to fig 7.3 AR4 this 8Gt is about 3.67% of all emissions [DOE figures give it as 2.93% but never mind]; with isotopic tracking of ACO2 problematic for various cogent reasons and sinks increasing so that 98.5% of all emissions are being reabsorbed {again from DOE}, and natural emissions increasing how can you say the increase in CO2 is all anthropogenic; surely a ACO2 molecule would have both a residency time and a contribution to the excess amount of 1.5/100 x 3.67/100 = 0.000552 or a 1 in 1811.59 chance of being still in the atmosphere after 1 year, declining exponentially thereafter?

  179. Luke May 2, 2009 at 10:10 am #

    Cohers

    Sigh – hand drawn graphs are NOT a calculation. The greenhouse effect is driven by insolation. CO2 does NOT work alone. You need to make a calculation with a model. Lest your answer is just arm-waving. If insolation decline so will the greenhouse effect. Temperatures decline – CO2 goes back into the oceans. An entire interlinked system.

    As for the PDO – I remind you – Hadley’s analysis of SST and NMAT ffrom 1800s.

    PDO is the 3rd PC – not first. An enduring centennial trend is first PC by a long way. Then AMO.

    A centennial trend eh? hmmmm….

    Sigh …

  180. SJT May 2, 2009 at 10:18 am #

    From your link Cohenite.

    “Clearly, temperatures rise first, then CO2 levels. This is the exact opposite of current climate models. There are no data or observations supporting current climate models’ assumption that CO2 causes temperature increases.”

    That person is completely ignorant of the science and it’s claims.

    The models make no assumptions that CO2 causes temperature increases. They have the known phsycis of CO2 programmed in, amongst a whole lot of other information on the components of climate, and look at what comes.

    Because these are models, it is quite easy to remove CO2 from the model altogether, or have it staying at a steady level. When they take out CO2, there is no temperature rise, but a slight cooling instead. It’s all in the IPCC report. Read it.

    There is data and observations that CO2 causes temperature rises, the IPCC report provides plenty of that for the current climate.

    The author of that article has no idea of the concept that CO2 can be a forcing or a feedback, that it has never been claimed that CO2 is the only forcing, nor that it is the strongest forcing. If the current state of the climate is analysed, CO2 is it. No doubt, that will change some time in the future.

  181. cohenite May 2, 2009 at 11:01 am #

    little will;

    “The models make no assumptions that CO2 causes temperature increases.”

    That is a lie of Watergate proportions; read p666 of AR4 and from your mentor, Jimmy Hansen;

    http://climatechangepsychology.blogspot.com/2008/12/james-hansens-agu-presentation-venus.html

    p9 a doubling of CO2 causes an increase in temp of 3C; nailed, as Jimmy says. It’s all in the IPCC report. Read it.

    luke, yes, insolation;

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2009/04/30/see-speck-run/

    Here comes the sun, not. As for the hand-drawn graph; that is just PR snobbery; the data is the same which is used by the models; are you saying the trends for CO2 and temp shown in the graph are different? Does it matter? Is anything happening at all, apart from Gore getting wealthier?

  182. Luke May 2, 2009 at 11:13 am #

    What else is happening. Oh decadal variability changing. IOD, STR, SAM, Walker circulation

    Rice growers still without water.

    “the data is the same which is used by the models” … WHAT MODELS?

  183. Luke May 2, 2009 at 11:22 am #

    Indeed the comments with that graph are simply grubby bullshit. The models don’t assume anything about what comes first. The model results are an outcome of integrating factors.

  184. eric adler May 2, 2009 at 1:07 pm #

    Ferdinand wrote:

    About the PDO:
    eric adler
    “Isn’t this like saying, sea surface temperatures are warmer because the temperature is higher?”

    Depends of what drives what… A positive PDO drives warmer waters to Alaska and the Bering Street up to the Arctic. Thus more Arctic warming and ice melt and higher world average temperatures. A negative PDO gives the opposite trend. Further, precipitation in many regions and storm tracks/counts/strength are influenced. But what drives the PDO? I don’t know…

    Actually, in the so called warm phase of the PDO, the North Pacific sea surface, is colder. The place that is warmer is the coast of North America. In fact the PDO is defined so that the average contribution to global warming is zero. It is an oscillation, so that in then long term, its contribution is neutral.

    In the most recent melting of the summer ice, according to Walter Meier, the PDO was not implicated:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/16/nsidcs-dr-walt-meier-answers-reader-questions-on-sea-ice/

    A: The warming of the last 30 years cannot be attributed primarily to the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) or the Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation (AMO). The AMO does not have a significant influence on the Arctic. On the Atlantic, side, the North Atlantic Oscillation (NAO)-a regional expression of the Arctic Oscillation (AO)-is the most influential mode of variability in the Arctic. As I’ve mentioned previously, there are natural variations in climate that do indeed affect Arctic temperatures in the Arctic and the sea ice. The NAO/AO is a particularly prominent one and a substantial amount of the decline in the sea ice during the late 1980s and early 1990s could be attributed to a strong positive mode during winters because the positive mode favors the loss of thicker ice that is less likely to melt during summer. However, since about 1995, the AO has mainly been in a neutral or negative state. Under such conditions, the Arctic sea ice should have started to recover. Instead, sea ice extent has not only continued downward, but the decline rate has accelerated. The AO may have been a “trigger” for the precipitous decline, but we wouldn’t have the ongoing decline without the documented warming trend (Lindsay and Zhang, 2005).

    The Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) also can play role in temperatures in the Bering Sea region and to some extent in the Pacific side of the Arctic Ocean. The PDO was in a fairly persistent positive mode until the mid-1990s, but it also has shifted to a more neutral state and so cannot explain the decline of the Arctic sea ice since that time. (More details: Overland et al., 2004 and Overland and Wang, 2005).

    Another important point is that these climate oscillations can themselves be affected by global warming. There are indications that the positive mode of the AO is more likely to be present under warmer conditions.

  185. cohenite May 2, 2009 at 3:11 pm #

    luke, your comment that the models don’t assume anything about what comes first defies believe and you can’t be serious. AR4 and TAR are predicated on CO2 forcing, which is to say unnatural increases in CO2 produce various climatic responses depending on the determination of climate sensitivity; I have given you Hansen’s PP where he clearly says that sensitivity is 3C for 2CO2; “it’s nailed” chortles jimmy; also read p666 of AR4 and P132 of AR4 for other clear statements about the forcing parameters of ACO2; and if ACO2 didn’t come first what did Koutsoyiannis disprove?

    http://www.itia.ntua.gr/getfile/850/3/documents/2008EGU_ClimatePredictionPrSm_.pdf

  186. Yankee May 2, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    “Show the toxicology reports, idiot.The rest of your spew only underlines my points:
    1) There are real toxins that could be addressed, but are not due to the neurotic ‘enlightened’ one’s obsession on CO2.”

    Hunter

    If you can’t comprehend the scientific information I provided earlier – that is about the chemicals and their reactions to oxidize to CO2, how the devil would you understand a toxicology report? Hmmmm?

    Now do tell us which toxins you keep referring to which you say should be addressed or do you intend perpetuating your frontier of ignorance which one can only attribute to tardbillies?

  187. Luke May 2, 2009 at 4:06 pm #

    Cohers – don’t lay smoke – what models of the glacial/interglacial.

    What calculations?

  188. cohenite May 2, 2009 at 5:07 pm #

    Look luke, this is all you need to know;

    http://landshape.org/enm/wp-content/uploads/2008/10/optical-depth-trend-1.png

    first graph, temp anomaly 1948-2007, piddling.
    second graph water vapor anomaly; down;
    3rd graph CO2 anomaly, up

    And the measure of GH, optical density, stationary. Stick that up your models and do the fandango.

  189. Luke May 2, 2009 at 6:08 pm #

    Stop being an evasive bugger – we’re talking about glacial transitions and CO2/temp lags.

    BTW – I don’t accept anything from Short’s country club.

  190. cohenite May 2, 2009 at 6:15 pm #

    alright luke; glacial transitions and CO2/temp lags; say something sensible about this;

    http://icecap.us/images/uploads/CO2,Temperaturesandiceages-f.pdf

    As for Steve’s country club, this in connection with the OD graph above just about does in Philipona and AGW;

    “Correction:

    The K&T97 and TF&K08 reviews both imply that LW IR emitted by clouds is ~30 W/m^2. This means that both the CERES and ERBE period best estimates of all sky S_T should be about 31 W/m^2 respectively and that the clear sky (cloud free) estimates of S_T again for both these periods should not exceed about 61±10 W/m^2 i.e there is about a less than one chance in 40 (2.5%) (assuming binomial distribution) of a clear sky S_T exceeding 81 W/m^2. [It also means that both the CERES and ERBE period best estimates of S_U should be about 395 W/m^2. Thus the best estimate of clear sky mean tau should be about 1.87+0.18,-0.15 but also indicating a mean global all sky tau is hardly likely to be as low as 1.87]

    These data are consistent with the values presented in Zagon’s recent presentation, particularly where he showed slides for Miskolczi HARTCODE estimates of global clear sky S_T of 90.7 (Slide 68), 58.7 (Slide 69) and 60.9 (Slide 70) W/m^2 respectively. Miskolczi HARTCODE measurements of clear sky S_T are thus probably consistent with mainstream science values.

    But this still does not address the problem with the Miskolczi value for global all sky mean S_T and tau”

    Can you guess why?

  191. SJT May 2, 2009 at 7:36 pm #

    “That is a lie of Watergate proportions; read p666 of AR4 and from your mentor, Jimmy Hansen;”

    Hansen is not my mentor, and he does not control how the models work, which have been built by completely independent teams around the world, and your argument is completely illogical anyway.

  192. Luke May 2, 2009 at 7:37 pm #

    Alas Cohers – nowhere near a formal calculation – simply assertive denialist bunk. Someone following Berger will have to do it with a model I guess.

    His last attempt was that they couldn’t get glaciation if CO2 wasn’t low. But I think the work is quite dated so …

    I’m not being obstinate here – simply that the whole deglaciation issue is very complex in terms of interactions.

    However a 6C increase after the PETM is pretty striking from my view.

    And no I can’t guess why on mean S_T and tau – I’m not even following it. Tell us when you’ve solved it all and are peer reviewed and published. As I said some time ago – instead of be a goose and doing a 10 worst post for Jen – why not inform us where this debate is up to. You know – a constructive informative post.

    Incidentally people get up me for spending too much time here – but Cohers you’re all over the blogs – how do you do it? (and I’m not asking nastily – just saying that you’re investing far more than me – this issue is just a minor sideline for me, despite nong Louis’s notion that I work in climate research)

  193. cohenite May 2, 2009 at 8:31 pm #

    How do I do It? I’m triplets.

    Where the debate is up to; if M is right, hell, even partially right given Steve’s isolation of some flaws [?], the debate is over.

  194. SJT May 2, 2009 at 10:16 pm #

    “Where the debate is up to; if M is right, hell, even partially right given Steve’s isolation of some flaws [?], the debate is over.”

    The debate hasn’t even started given the continual ignorance of the scientific case. Your latest link being exhibit ‘A’. McIntyre is just playing the Creationists game. Until the case is perfect, there is no case. The case will never be perfect, just as our understanding of evolution will never be perfect.

  195. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 3, 2009 at 4:41 am #

    eric adler May 2nd, 2009 at 1:07 pm

    “Actually, in the so called warm phase of the PDO, the North Pacific sea surface, is colder. The place that is warmer is the coast of North America. In fact the PDO is defined so that the average contribution to global warming is zero. It is an oscillation, so that in then long term, its contribution is neutral.

    In the most recent melting of the summer ice, according to Walter Meier, the PDO was not implicated:

    http://wattsupwiththat.com/2008/10/16/nsidcs-dr-walt-meier-answers-reader-questions-on-sea-ice/

    I have read that discussion now, very interesting, especially the part that the Arctic was as warm to warmer in the period 1925-1945.

    There are several remarks by Dr. Meier where I disagree, but the general influence of the PDO and NAO/AMO still stands, only the timing of the latest decade(s) doesn’t completely fit with that influence. Neither does the temperature trend, thus there is more at hand than we know…

    Further, the models all blame aerosols for the cooler period 1945-1975, not the negative phase of the PDO. But we now have a similar halt in the warming, probably caused by a negative phase of the PDO. If that is true, then the warming caused by the current (and past) levels of GHGs is fully compensated by the negative phase of the PDO. Models can’t simulate any natural cycle between one year and 100 year (see Barnett e.a. supplemental information fig. S1: http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/data/1112418/DC1/1 ), thus calculate a trend which simply goes straight up with the CO2 forcing (the other forcings being relative constant over the past decades, only with a temporarely dip due to the 1992 Pinatubo eruption). But the trendline made by the models is twice reality, if the PDO is the cause of the current (and 1945-1975) cooling: one need to look at the full PDO cycle of about 60 years, which cools in the negative phase, but warms in the positive phase, thus is responsible for at least a part of the 1978-1998 warming…

    Further, there is no evidence of an influence of GHGs (or temperature level in general) on the strength or phase distribution of ENSO, PDO, NAO, AMO, AO,…

    BTW, I will be travelling around in central Europe (Prague, Linz, Salzburg,…) in next weeks, with little (I hope) Internet access, thus no more reactions by me from tomorrow on…

  196. eric adler May 3, 2009 at 7:32 am #

    Ferdinand,
    I don’t see how the PDO can be responsible for global cooling. It is basically defined by a difference in temperature between the eastern and western north pacific so unlike the ENSO, it doesn’t really provide heating of the ocean on average. As a matter of fact if you look at a temperature map of the so called “cool phase” on average the Pacific Ocean is warmer than it is in the so called “warm phase”. In fact the warm phase got its name because the coast of North America is warmer, but that is only a small fraction of the Pacific. It does send warm water to Bering strait.

    Attribution of global warming to the PDO doesn’t make any sense when you look at what the PDO really is.

  197. Ferdinand Engelbeen May 3, 2009 at 8:46 am #

    Eric,

    Last minute reply…

    Thanks for the links! It seems indeed that the PDO and supply of warmer waters through the Bering Street are negatively correlated. Thus the PDO can’t be the direct cause of the extra melt.

    At the other side, ENSO event, although also only a redistribution of warm/cold waters have a clear influence on global temperatures, thus why not the PDO? Except if the redistribution coincides with a non-equal distribution of surface temperature measurements… The timing between PDO phases and the behaviour of global temperature is too striking to be just a coincidence…

    I did find some comment on the link between PDO, ENSO and global temperatures:
    http://www.stormx.com/agriculture/severe-weather/2009/04/the-pacific-oceans-influence-on-climate-change-how-low-will-the-pdo-go/

    “The PDO is also found to be a global driver of temperature, partly because of its intimate link to the El Niño Southern Oscillation cycle. La Niña is more likely during periods of negative PDO, while periods of positive PDO yield more frequent and intense El Niño’s. Thus the tropical temperature anomalies are highly correlated with the PDO phase and in turn help produce quantifiable fluctuations in global average temperatures. From the warm to the cool PDO phase, global temperatures drop by around 0.3-0.35°F. ”

    I don’t know how reliable that information is, but it may be interesting to check that with the data…

  198. eric adler May 3, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    Ferdinand,
    It is well known that ENSO has a huge influence on the World Climate.
    The PDO is a distraction.

  199. Ann Novek May 3, 2009 at 4:41 pm #

    First a thanks for Mike Hammer for posting polite answers , which is very rare nowadays in the blogosphere. There is a saying ” he / she swears like a blogger”.

    However , I would like to oppose your statement :

    ” The northern hemisphere has just gone through a particularly cold severe winter”

    I live on the same latitude as Hudson Bay, Alaska and southern Greenland , but NEVER in my whole life has the spring arrived as early as this year! It’s already all green, perhaps about 10 days before the ” ordinary spring schedule”! ( I will post pics later on today on my blog on this)

  200. SJT May 3, 2009 at 11:54 pm #

    As I keep saying to Motty and Bird, can’t we all just get along.

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